How do I cut Silhouettes?

Whenever I cut silhouettes at an event people are always asking me how I learned to cut a likeness of a person in under five minutes. 

It's hard to answer that in the few minutes I have with the people I do silhouettes of. 

So I usually just say that I've been drawing faces my whole life, and when I learned from watching a documentary in 2009, that the art of the silhouette was still sought after, I  just went online and looked up the few other silhouette artists still working, and taught myself by looking at their methods. 

So with a very sharp pair of scissors( mine, which I got from Walmart and aren't fancy, but are very sharp) and black silhouette paper, (black on one side, white on the other) which I now order from an Etsy shop, I sit in a chair a little ways away from the subject, and cut their silhouette just by looking at their profile. No pre-drawing, no tracing a shadow, no lights. 

My figure drawing class in art school was probably the best class I ever took in terms of preparing me for what I do now- cutting silhouettes and drawing caricatures. It's because I learned to use something called sighting, which is a process that artists use when drawing. Sighting is a way of measuring parts of a drawing, one to another; comparing one visual element to another and correcting as you go in order to obtain accuracy. 

Learn more about sighting here:

Art: Sighting with a Viewfinder and Sighting Sticks - Donna Young

Somersworth International Children's Festival,
Somersworth, NH 20014

Same girl as above
Somersworth International Children's Festival,
Somersworth, NH 2014

Spencer-Peirce- Little Farm,
Newbury, NH

Same fella as above
Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm
Newbery, MA 2012

Me at Strawberry Festival, South Berwick,Me

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm,Ipswich Festival, Newbery, MA

Shaker Hill Apple Fest.

York Village Harvest Fest.


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