• artsy fartsy,  how-to's,  illos,  party party,  Shop Talk

    How to make silhouette artwork.


    There was one other part to the Super Pink Barbie Birthday Party that I really wanted to share but just couldn’t fit in my other post. The silhouette portraits! This was my sister-in-law’s brilliant idea (reminiscent of the famous Barbie doll silhouette logo) but got assigned to me since I’m the family graphic artist. I thought I’d put a post up here about them because I think they turned out really cute.

    And since I’m putting a post up, I might as well make it a tutorial. Though I’m thinking that if you have photoshop then you probably already know how to use the pen tool and make your own silhouette without my helpful instructions. But whatever. I’ll put it out there because it might be interesting to ten percent of my readers. The rest of you can just look at Bug’s cute profile.

    So here’s how you do it:

    First take a really nice profile shot of your victim subject. It’s helpful if you have a nice clean background behind them so you can see the line of their face clearly. It also helps if you shoot the picture in a room full of light and your subject doesn’t wiggle all over the place causing blurrage.


    Then open your photo in photoshop and use the pen tool to create a path around their profile. You can do this with all sorts of tools but I like the pen tool because my favorite program is illustrator and the pen feels most comfortable for me. Do whatever you do, just make a path.

    Now at this point you could select the inside of the path and turn it black and then select the inverse (shift-command-i) and turn that white and be done. OR you could be like me and export your paths to illustrator because you like illustrator better and would rather not be mucking around in giant rastor files.


    This will put an ai file on your desktop (or wherever you have your default files set to go) and then you can open it in illustrator! Ahhhh, now doesn’t that feel better? Simple paths taking up hardly any memory.


    At first you won’t see the path because it’s not selected or colored any color. Just do a select all (command-a) and turn the shape black. Now you can resize your silhouette to fit your frame. Our frames were 5×7 so I put two silhouettes up on one letter-size page. I decided not to print the silhouettes out in black because my mom’s printer was running low on black ink so I printed them out in pink (15% magenta) so I could see the shape clearly but use as little ink as possible.

    Now that you have the print-out you can put it on a black piece of paper and cut out the silhouette using the print-out as your pattern. This part is tricky and will require some swift paper-cutting skills around tiny noses and hair tendrils. But you can do it and the end result is rewarding!

    Bug and her silhouette

    Hot pink frame optional.

  • Eye Spy

    desert wedding


    A dreamy desert wedding! Since I grew up in the high desert, this wedding really hits a sentimental spot with me. The succulent bouquet, tumbleweed graphics, dinner under the big desert sky… I loved my own beach wedding but if I had to do it over again I might head for the sandy wide open spaces!