I've been working on silhouette art of my little daughters and started thinking about how to create a silhouette of a landscape... or, in particular, my farm. I took a photo years ago from way out at the end of the meadow, looking towards the barn and house, and it was such a lovely outline. I decided to try to turn that view into a cut-paper silhouette. You could also use the same idea to create a silhouette of your own house or a favorite landscape.
This is a good project for kids, too. I teach art and thought this would be a great assignment to help my young students understand the concepts of foreground, middle-ground, and background as well as overlapping and landscape.
- photo of a landscape, farm, or your house (8" x 10" is a good size)
- thick paper in a range of values (I chose greens, white, and blue handmade papers, but fade-resistant construction paper will work.) and a backing paper
- scissors (small sewing scissors are great), X-Acto or utility knife is optional for tiny details
- all-purpose glue
1. Think about how to split your photo up into foreground, middle-ground, background, and sky. Cut
out each of those areas separately.
It's OK if a section has more than one piece. I have both the house and trees/hill in the middle-ground but they were split by the barn.
2. I decided to go with dark green, light green, and white for the foreground, middle-ground, and background, with blue as the sky. (Going from dark to light gives the illusion of distance.) Turn both the foreground photo cut-out and the first collage paper over so you're looking at the backs. Place the photo over the collage paper and trace; leave a bit extra at the bottom and sides to allow for overlapping the silhouettes.
3. Carefully cut out the collage paper. Repeat tracing and cutting for all sections.
4. Turn all of the collage papers to the right side. Begin arranging them, starting with the sky and then moving from back to front so they overlap. Make adjustments with spacing and cutting as you need to.
5. When you're satisfied with the arrangement and spacing, begin gluing onto the backing paper. Start with the sky and move back to front again.
After I finished gluing, I decided to add in the fence, which I cut with a utility knife. I dabbed glue onto the back of the fence with my pinkie so it wouldn't show.
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