Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silhouette on a Leaf

My oldest had a birthday this week, and I wanted to make a silhouette portrait of him, to commemorate the day. But, even though he has reached the advanced age of twelve, he continues to struggle with being still for long periods of time. So, I knew trying to sketch out his profile free hand would be impossible. I was considering different ways of photographing his shadow, and then enlarging it, and cutting it out, when I decided it might be fun to leave it small, and use it as a template on a leaf.

I had one of the other children hold a flash light for me, and snapped a quick shot of my son's shadow in profile.

Then, I used the photo editor to change it into a negative, and printed it out, both as a wallet size photo, and as a thumbprint, and matched them to a few leaves I had gathered from the yard.

I liked the texture of the Aspen leaf, but found that it was difficult to cut out the finer details from the thumbprint size photo, that fit on it.

Finally, I settled on using the wallet sized photo, on a nice large sunflower leaf. I glued the picture to the leaf, with a glue stick, and then cut the profile from the photo, and the leaf, at the same time, with a pair of the children's scissors.

I carefully, peeled the paper off of the leaf, and then pressed the leaf flat between two sheets of paper, under a number of heavy books.

I glued it to a piece of card stock, and painted over it with a watered down layer of Elmer's glue, to seal it.

Finally, I tea stained the paper, and framed it. But, it would have worked just as nicely as an embellishment on a card, or scrapbook page. It was quite simple to do, and the results are striking enough, that I'd like to make one for each of the children. Of course, that means I'll be in a race to finish, before Fall arrives, and the leaves are gone. But then, I won't have to worry about not having school pictures for the year.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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