Visiting a Silhouette Artist

A Silhouette Artist

Visiting a silhouette artist is really fun! A silhouette artist is a person who cuts out the shape of your profile from a special piece of paper. It is black on one side and white on the other. The artist folds the paper before cutting. After the cutting is complete, the customer will have two silhouettes to take home right away. A left and a right one. This is customary so that you’ll have one to keep and one to give away. The subject (child or adult or pet) sits across from the artist and using hand eye coordination (no drawing or tracing), the artist looks at the white side of the paper and imagines the same face on that blank paper. The artist carefully cuts the shape of their profile. *HINT: (This actually happens.) Don’t accidentally tell your kids they are going to visit an artist who will “cut their face out.” Let’s say instead, “The artist will make a portrait of your shadow.” (Way less scary!)

visiting a silhouette artist
Visiting a silhouette artist in person is truly a stress free process and so much fun.

The subject

Whether it’s a baby, toddler, squirmy child or teen or an anxious adult, the subject does not have to be as still as a statue. The artist only needs the occasional glance of just the right pose. This is literally, the “stress-free” portrait! It is a unique, dying art form and there are only a dozen or so of us in the United States. This method involves no drawing or tracing. It originated in France in the late 18th century. Silhouettes were the snapshot before the camera came along! People used to visit a silhouette artist when they wanted to give their lover an image to bring along on their next voyage.

In this day and age, we expect instant gratification.

How many things in art, can you watch created before your eyes from start to finish in such a short time – and the likeness you see from such a simple black “blob” of a paper, is amazing! Visit my Frequently Asked Questions Page for More info. And remember, if you can’t make it to an event, I do silhouettes by email!


silhouette sample
Silhouette just completed by Patti Rishforth