Is there anything more lovely than a silhouette? They are the original airbrush - taking something beautiful and obscuring all but it’s shape in a single color creates a pure image that can't be ignored. The simplicity of a silhouette is what makes them so intense. The subject becomes concentrated in it’s outline, especially when the background provides a stark contrast.
Did you know that silhouettes are named after a person? The art of cutting out a person’s profile from black card to create a portrait was popular in the 1700’s, especially for those who could not afford more expensive art forms. In France, Etienne de Silhouette was attempting to restore the country’s finances, causing many people to pinch their pennies, or live in poverty. The phrase a la silhouette came to mean anything cheaply made, and was used to describe these cut-out portraits. The name stuck, and now applies in many ways to shapes, profiles and backlit objects.
Silhouettes were also used in cameos and memento mori, or mourning jewelry, which were popular in the Victorian era. Despite these sad origins, silhouettes continue to be popular in art, photography and even jewelry.
1. Silhouettes, 2. Magical Silhouette, 3. Silhouette, 4. Silhouettes, Thar desert,
5. CIMG2167 Diver Silhouette, 6. Silhouette, 7. Silhouette, 8. Silhouette,
9. Silhouette Portrait, 10. Silhouette, 11. Beach Shadow Silhouette, 12. Silhouette 1
Do you like to use cameos or silhouette shapes in your work?
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