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March 10, 2010

Silhouette Canvas's #65- silhouette art of my kids

silhouette canvas finished hung
I've been looking for a fun Silhouette project for some time.  I have another idea, using an old window, but I don't have an old window.  Maybe next time...  But a few weeks ago I was at Michaels getting some supplies for my Mom's birthday present and I ran across 4 8x10 canvas's for quite cheap.  But what kind of medium to paint with?  I found some thick acrylic creating a textured paint.  Perfect!
silhouette photo
So this is how I started.  I took pictures of each kid in front of the window and bright sunshine (with no flash of course).  My third (a boy) was by FAR the most difficult to get a shot of.  But after 83 shots I ended up with 4 decent ones.  Then I used photoshop bridge to create this image:  (Here are my settings if you wanted to know:clarity: 100, vibrance: -100, saturation: -100, blacks: 100, exposure .35, tonal curve: point- strong contrast, sharping: 150, radius: 0, Detail: 0 and masking: 100).
silhouette photo edited
Then I used Photoshop to cut what I did'nt need.  I used the quick selection tool to select everything but the silhouette.  Then I cropped each image to 8x10, trying to make them all as even and similar in size as possible.
silhouette photoshop editing layout
Here is the final image I used.
silhouette canvas edited photoshop
I printed off this image and using my Xyron I turned it into a sticker.  I also took my pen and did a bit of "fixing".  I fixed the curls on her forehead that got lost in the editing, I also drew where I wanted to make the  bottom pretty.  And finally I added eyelashes, because let's face it silhouettes just don't look quite right without them.
silhouette canvas picture
Then comes the cutting.  I found my small sharp craft scissors.  If only I had them for the Bathroom mirror project!  Remember which way to cut.  Since I wanted mine to be a stencil I didn't care what the inside looked liked.  So I started in the middle and cut away.  I was careful not to cut too much, you can always cut more if you need to.  If your cutting out a silhouette planning on USING the middle remember to start cutting on the outside.
silhouette canvas cutting stencil
Once I was happy with the stencil I took my "sticker" of the backing and stuck it to the canvas.  I pressed along the edges, but not TOO hard because I didn't want to bend the canvas.  Mostly just using my nail and a bit of pressure, to create the best possible seal.
silhouette canvas cut out stuck stencil
Then I grabbed a brush and started painting!  Once the paper get's wet with the paint it starts to ripple, so start in the middle, getting it as thick as you want it, without touching the edges.  Then quickly brush the edges, working outside in, and peel off the stencil!  Be sure to peel from the top down, better to have the top details sharp and sometimes the last bit you peel off can be a bit messy.
silhouette canvas painting stencil
I had a few spots where the paint spread a little past the crisp lines I wanted so with a smaller brush I fixed those and voila!  Finished!  Just the look I wanted!  Thick with brush strokes, glossy with nice sharp edges.
silhouette canvas painted stencil done
here are all four done, my children are girl (8 1/2), boy (7), boy (4 1/2), girl (2 1/2), which works out perfectly for this set up!
silhouette canvas finished layout
And finally hanging up.  this is in the narrow hall between the bedrooms and bathroom, so I couldn't get a much better angle than this shot, but it looks great.  I only wish the walls were a prettier color.  I think when we move out I'll end up re-carpeting and repainting the basement as a "thanks for letting us live here and ruin your walls and carpet" gift for my in-laws!  I should have just painted when we moved in, this sickly yellow is pretty difficult to look at day in and day out.   Although not as bad as the 4 wall wood paneling in our bedroom!!!  I'll have to get pictures of that room next time!
silhouette canvas finished hanging