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parents favorite: profile silhouette


From: mak MaryAnn Kohl (mak_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 01 2003 - 09:55:25 PDT

This is a bit of an old idea for our group, but I am sharing it because it
makes a popular project or gift (holiday time?) or very large holiday card,
kind of like handprints ... because parents love these to save. Students can
trace each other's silhouettes, and then cut them out, glue them on larger
paper after. If you glue it inside a large folded piece of paper, then it's
like a large card.

Profile Silhouette
   Young artists cut out a silhouette of a friend's profile using a common
desk lamp, black paper, chalk and sharp scissors.

Did you know?
Although silhouette art was part of Roman
culture, the French are credited with the
side view or profile view of a person's head
and shoulder. The silhouette is directly cut
from a piece of paper and presented as a
simple form of a portrait.

                 adjustable desk lamp
                 black paper
                 white chalk
                 good, sharp scissors
                 other paper and white glue

1. Arrange a chair about a foot from the wall.
2. Arrange the lamp about a foot from the chair and shining towards the
Test the lamp to see if it shines on the wall with a good shadow.
3. Tape the black paper to the wall where the light is shining.
4. Ask a friend to sit on the chair with one ear towards the wall and
the other towards the light. Test the silhouette to find if the
light shines to make a sharp outline of the person's profile. If it
does not make a clear profile, rearrange the chair and the light.
5. The person must remain very still while the profile is traced.
Trace the profile with white chalk.
6. After the profile is completed, cut out the profile on the chalk
7. Glue the profile to another sheet of paper of contrasting color
such as white for the finished profile silhouette.

printed with permission from the book, Global Art (Gryphon House), by Kohl
and Potter