Introduction: Marbleized Cameo Silhouettes

Picture of Marbleized Cameo Silhouettes

This Instructable is for creating marbleized cameo silhouettes

When my sister and I were younger, we got our silhouettes done in Connecticut (third picture).

I thought marbleized paper would be a cool way to update this traditional art technique.

Hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

-set of oil paints
-turpentine/paint thinner
-disposable plastic cups (number you need depends on how many colors you want to use) I used metal cups but the paint ruined them.
-paint tray and liner or tray bigger than the size you want your silhouettes to be
-water (/sink)- enough to fill up your tray the number of times you want to change your color scheme. ie if you want to do one batch of warm color paper and one batch of cool color paper, you will need enough water to fill up your tray twice.
-toothpicks to make comb. I made a large comb and a smaller one. I found that I liked the smaller comb better.
-piece of cardboard smaller than the width of your tray
-tape - to keep your comb together
-scissors
-glue
-paper- I used mixed media paper. Medium weight and it's not shiny
-well ventilated area/access to outside
-newspaper to protect your work space
-paint brush
-paper to back the portraits. I used black paper because it had better contrast with warm color scheme than white paper. Whichever color for this paper that you choose, you can get another piece of paper in the other color to create a mat for your portraits.

This Instructable doesn't show you how to make the mat feature. You would just cut an oval that is bigger than the portrait and smaller than the inside opening of the frame make sure it's centered where you want the portrait to be

-side view pictures of your subject/person you want to make the cameo silhouettes of they need to be printed out the same size that you want your final product to be.

**tip** if you are hanging portraits of people next to each other, make sure you take the pictures in a manner that will make their heads the same size. So shooting from same distance at same zoom will do this. If you do not do this I will show you how to fix it in the Instructable!

I made mine of me and my sister (to be hung next to each other) and one of my dog as a joke. If you do one of your pet take a picture of your whole pet. Don't take a picture of front and one of back because that is more likely to result in two halfs of different sizes. You can also just do the front of an animal. I just thought it was funny to do both sides!


Optional:
-frames for framing your portraits
-paint to paint the frames
-extra paper to make a mat
-marbleized paper

If you don't have oil paint and don't want to purchase any, you can buy paper that has already been marbleized. I purchased a piece of scrapbook paper in cool color scheme.
This is a quicker option to marbelizing your own paper.

Step 2: Create Comb

Picture of Create Comb

Use tape to attach toothpicks to piece of cardboard (evenly space the toothpicks and only overlay them on half of the piece of cardboard)

Fold the cardboard over so there is cardboard on either side of the toothpicks.

Use tape to tape the whole comb together.

Step 3: Fill Tray With Water

Fill tray with water (but not all the way to the edge of the tray).

Be sure to do this were you can easily dispose of the water (ie outside. There you can just dump the water out on the grass etc).

Step 4: Thin the Paint

Picture of Thin the Paint

In well ventilated area, Squeeze some paint into individual cups. Ie red paint in cup #1, orange paint in cup #2 etc.

Put a few teaspoons of turpentine/paint thinner into each cup and stir. You want to get the clumps out and make the paint fluid/not thick. Add small amounts of turpentine to achieve this if needed.

Step 5: Pour Paint

Picture of Pour Paint

Pour small amounts of each color paint into the tray.

**TIP** if you want more white on your portraits, add less paint to the tray. If you want more color on the portrait, add more color.

I got 6 sheets of marbleized paper out of the tray of paint pictures above.

Step 6: Comb the Paint

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Use comb to swirl the paint until you achieve your desired effect.

Step 7: Make the Paper

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This step is performed quickly and I wasn't able to take a picture of me doing it.

Once you have swirled paint in your tray, place the first piece of paper gently on top of the water. Do this by starting at one edge then middle then other edge and then immediately take it off the water and place it on drying surface paint side up.

Repeat this step until there isn't really any more paint on the water. This way you can have a variety of marbleized paper to choose from when making the silhouettes.

I made six sheets of this paper.

Step 8: Even Out Faces (if Needed)

Picture of Even Out Faces (if Needed)

If one head is smaller than the other head and you want them to be the same size, use pen to draw outline of the smaller head. Be sure to follow the outline of the head. I did mine a little less than a half a centimeter away from head. My sisters head still looked slightly smaller than mine but it didn't help that my hair was super puffy the day I got my picture taken for this project!

Ps don't mind out faces, my sister thought it was funny to make a creepy face and wouldn't take my picture until I made one too!

Step 9: Cut Out Pictures

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Cut out the heads using scissors (either actual outline or an outline you drew)

Step 10: Pick a Side

Picture of Pick a Side

This is the step where you can choose which way you want your heads facing.

You can either have them facing the way the pictures were taken, or you can flip them over and they would look like the picture above.

I chose to keep them the same way the pictures were originally taken because that is the way me and my sisters childhood cameo silhouettes were made.

Step 11: Trace and Cut Out Heads

Picture of Trace and Cut Out Heads

Use your pen to Trace the outlines of your subjects onto your marbleized paper.

Cut the heads out of the marbleized paper

Step 12: Check Heads

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Make sure the silhouettes fit inside your frames, if they don't you can trim them down on the bottom.

Next, create an angled bottom portion of the silhouettes. See last picture in this step or Google "cameo silhouettes" to see what I am talking about.

Step 13: Paint Frames *optional*

Picture of Paint Frames *optional*

Paint your frames if you desire.

Let dry completely.

Step 14: Alternative Method

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Complete steps 8-12 with the marbleized paper you purchased. This is the no mess alternative to creating the paper with oil paint.

Step 15: Glue It All Together

Picture of Glue It All Together

Center the silhouettes in the center of the frames and glue them in place.

Let dry.

Glue edge of paper to the back inner rim of the frame. Make sure your silhouettes are still centered and that you can't see any paper coming out from behind the frame. That is more of an issue when you have a thin, intricate frame like mine.

Step 16: TAAADAHHHHH!!!!

Picture of TAAADAHHHHH!!!!

You are done!

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable. Please vote for it!

Best,

Elana

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