Make Quirky Silhouettes Easily

Quirky Silhouettes may at first look complicated but this is an easy art project to do with kids with effective results. I LOVE our quirky silhouettes!

Quirky Silhouettes

They are made very simply with chalk and black paper. This is a great project for exploring how to use shading to make an object appear 3-dimensional! It's actually very easy.

How to Create Quirky Silhouettes

Step One:

Draw a circle. The easiest way we found was to use a pencil and a compass.

Quirky Silhouettes: Draw a Circle

Compasses can be a bit tricky to master so the more practice the better. One of our young fellows likes to turn the pencil and keep the paper stationery. The other likes to keep the pencil still and turn the paper around under the compass. Both methods worked well. Of course you could just trace around a plate.

Step Two:

Cut out the circle. Again, great practice which uses hand-eye coordination. It doesn't really matter if the moon isn't a perfect circle.

Step Three:

It's time to add colour. This is done in a few steps.

Quirky Silhouettes:Add Colour

Start with the brightest colour at the base of the moon.

Quirky Silhouettes:Add Colour

Add a paler colour next, arching the colour across the moon's surface.

Add a paler colour again.

Quirky Silhouettes:Add Colour

Now it's time to add some depth. Use a dark brown and draw a banana-shaped shadow down the left side of the moon. (Oops ... the moon was turned the wrong way for the photo. We really do know our left from our right! Just imagine the moon has been rotated ... thanks!)

Finally add a smudge of black down the left-side edge.

Quirky Silhouettes:Add Colour

Use your finger to smudge and blend the colours together. Be careful not to run the black too far over the whole moon.

Hint: We used a wet cloth to wipe our hands while blending the chalk with our fingers. This stopped the colours turning into a big muddy-mess and kept them a little separate on the moon.

Add a few dark smudges to the moon here and there and you're done. Great job!

Quirky Silhouettes:Add Shadow

Step Four:

Time to add some quirky silhouettes.

Quirky Silhouettes:Draw a quirky house

I found the easiest way to get the houses approximately the right size was to cut out a piece of black paper and give it to each child with the instruction to make their house about the size of the paper. If the house is too big, the moon will be covered. Too small and the effect will be lost plus a tiny house would be hard to cut out.

Use a pencil to draw the house on the paper. Lines don't have to be perfect as the side being drawn on will eventually be pasted to the moon. So drawn lines can be a bit untidy.

By the way, the houses can be definitely quirky! There's no need for straight lines and perfectly aligned walls. In fact the more twists and turns the houses have, the better! Quirky is the word for the day!

Step Five:

Cut out the silhouette. We used a craft knife which the boys loved using.

Quirky Silhouettes:Cut out the silhouette

As with any tool, kids need to be taught how to use a sharp knife properly and be fully supervised. Kids often rise to the challenge and pleasantly surprise us when we give them responsibility to use something potentially 'dangerous'! As a result, their self-esteem is boosted along with their confidence.

Obviously, however, each child's age and ability must be taken into consideration. If a knife won't work in your situation, scissors would work fine.

Quirky Silhouettes:Cut out the silhouette

Hint: we found straight lines, boxes, etc., easier to cut than curvy lines or circular windows. Just something to consider when designing quirky silhouettes.

Step Six:

Put the pieces together by pasting the moon on the bottom edge of a black piece of paper so that the strongest colours will show through the windows of the quirky silhouette.

Quirky Silhouettes:Paste the moon on a blank black sheet of paper

Flip the silhouette so the side with the pencil lines is hidden and paste it on top of the moon.

Step Seven:

Finally, use a permanent marker to add any small details such as window thingy-me-bobs ... you know, the wooden dividers for window panels ... muntins (yep, I had to go and google that term which goes to prove we learn something new every day!).

Quirky Silhouettes:Add details with a pen

Here are some quirky silhouettes we created:

Note: When you hang them on the wall and view them from a distance, they look even better!

Quirky Silhouettes

Quirky Silhouettes:Cut out the silhouette

We'd love to see the quirky silhouettes you create. Upload a photo to our Facebook Page or leave a comment on this post.

We hope you enjoy this quirky silhouette project as much as we did. Have fun!

Our range of books is continually growing. Children's books available in our Literacy Series, include:

Farmer Blake ApplicationIt's Fly Application Hog and Frog Application Grover Bill Application Lyrebird Park Application Matilda Application Scaredy Cat Application Aunt Lou Application A Plucky Australian Platypus Application

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