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Silhouette portraiture used to be one of the few ways people had of capturing the likeness of a loved one. Weather black paint on white paper or black paper cut carefully with scissors, silhouettes take an artist with a steady hand, an eye for detail, and a great deal of patience.

Until recently, I didn’t know that people were still having silhouettes made. But, thanks to a friend of mine (and her precious daughter), I now know that this is not a dead art! Look at this beautiful silhouette by scissor artist Karl Johnson (CutArts.com):

silhouette 1

The hair! The eyelashes! The way you can see (infer?) her chubby cheeks! To me, this transcends a snapshot – it almost embodies the whole moment and person. I love that these images – though modern in their starkness – are timeless in every way. They are instant heirlooms, and would make an excellent addition to anyone’s family wall.

Should you prefer to start your collection with silhouettes of others, Etsy has a lovely selection. Among my favorites are:

The dapper man with an impressively detailed mustache (source). The colonials (source). The little boy (in liederhosen?) (source). The instant family (source)

Wouldn’t a wall of silhouettes make quite a statement?

~Lainey

Thank you, Laura, for allowing me use of your silhouette!