Color Silhouettes

I still love silhouettes and think they are classic. But if you're sort of over the look, one way to make it fresh again is to use color rather than black for the portraits, a la artist Carter Kustera. Mr. Kustera is pretty much the king of the modern silhouette. He has painted Michelle Obama's portait and he does lots of work for Jonathan Adler and his partner Simon Doonan (so also Barneys).



Not positive, but the silhouettes in Angie Hranowsky's kitchen look like Carter Kustera portraits.


This installation was at the D&D here in New York. So cool, right?


I come from a big family and think it would be amazing to make a wall like this in my parents house one year for Christmas. And then every Christmas thereafter we would spend a day updating the silhouettes. I like the idea that everyone could pick their own color.


I'm sure Grace would want to be purple and Claire would be pink. I think I would be bright red and Michael would be a deep green. Evie would make a lovely yellow - that baby is pure sunshine.


It's actually really fun to assign family members colors and then try to guess what they would choose for themselves. It's hard not to make it about personality! What's your color?

All images courtesy of Carter Kustera except for the Angie Hranowsky image.

45 comments:

pve design said...

My Mother has a silhouette charm bracelet which is loaded with kids and grand-kids that I adore. My silhouette would be classic black, white or perhaps "green." Hard to choose! I might have to flip a coin...
head's up!
pve

Moonlight said...

peach!!!!!!!! :)
or teal, im not sure now that i think of all the possibilities! :)

The Savvy Stylist Daily said...

I love silhouette portraits! Perfect timing on your post too; he is featured on Groupon today! :)

http://www.groupon.com/deals/carter-kustera-san-gabriel?utm_campaign=UserReferral&utm_medium=email&utm_source=uu1751006

studioten25 said...

I love the wall that is covered in them. I had bright green silhouettes made of our dogs for our living room. They ended up larger than I had planned but they are adorable & even have their first and middle names on the print. Great post!
Abbe

kate lines said...

ooh i love that idea! (and i could really see that in your mom's house) i'd say a tomato red-orange for me. it's (most consistently) my favorite color. speaking of... i really need to find some new flats in that color mine are shot...

kate lines said...

oh! a lot like the color your wearing in your profile photo!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

I have this project on my to-do list as we just created a playroom for our kids and I want to create a gallery wall {including the TV} where there are their silhouettes mixed in! Thanks for the inspirational photos!

Ashley said...

I'm definitely cobalt blue! Love the idea of assigning color to our personalities!

Kim Russell Photography said...

These are great. I especially love the dog silhouette.

Emma said...

When my sisters and I were babies my mom had our silhouettes made by a portrait artist who cut them carefully out of black paper. The details are so intricate. But I also love the idea of painting them with colors. I'd be a slate, mossy green.

kayce hughes said...

Love the silhouettes. do you know what the green and white wall paper is?

lisaroyhandbags said...

I love these! I'd be a robin's egg or chartreuse :)

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Wow these are so cute! I really like the idea of using them.I think they would be adorable in a childs room!

things that sparkle said...

We got knocks off made for my mom for the holidays. They turned out great and were $75 a piece. http://thingsthatsparkleblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/art-part-2-or-200-if-youve-been-reading.html

thenestinggame said...

We did an inverse of the Kustera silhouettes for our hallway, with the heads in white and the colored background. We love how they turned out!

http://thenestinggame.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/silhouettes/

Also, small world--I know the family in the last picture! I was like, wait a minute...I've seen these before!

Fun post.

Helen@Soft Leather Baby Shoes said...

This is a lovely idea. Plus, you don't need to be a fantastic artist to get excellent results!

JK said...

I love them! I have been using silhouettes whenever possible! Here is a link to my latest:

http://eatplaylaughoften.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-been-while.html

And here is another!

http://eatplaylaughoften.blogspot.com/2010/08/baby-related-crafts.html

sarah@homeismore said...

Love the silhouette look. While we are on the subject of art- have you seen this?
http://www.etsy.com/listing/49416658/evies-flowers

Too amazing not to pass along:)

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I had never thought of doing a whole WALL of silhouettes, and I LOVE this idea!!! Thanks for sharing, and the colors are such a fresh alternative to black.

kcinteriors said...

Coral would be my color all the way. I come from a large family and wish my mom would do this!

Jessica said...

I love these!!

I would for sure be blue. I tropical aqua. My husband would be navy and our sweet Dorkie (dacshund/yorkie mix) would be a vibrant yellow!

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

These really are amazing and have the wheels in my head turning! I totally love silhouette portraits...but the color just makes them so fun! And I love that you already know the color for your little princesses, too cute!

Laurie Jones said...

I can never tire of the look and I loved the post but the words "pure sunshine" melted my heart!

Leanne said...

I did this in my house. I used my children's favorite color for the silhouettes, and a coordinating scrapbook paper to finish the job.

Check it out here:
http://designersblue.blogspot.com/2010/06/wall-reveal.html

The Goods Design said...

LOVE this post and LOVE that I learned about the Groupon for the Carter Kustera portraits from another commenter - I just ordered two and will get them done of me and my husband!

Kimberly Moore said...

I actually JUST made color silhouettes! I found these adorable plates from our local thrift store and was planning on doing the original black but I happen to cut the stencils out of fun scrap booking paper and loved the look so much more. I'll be showing them on a feature post in the next week or so! Great idea for the wall of kids/grandkids idea.

becky d said...

Hey Jen, I think that would be a great idea! Why don't we do it at Thanksgiving time? That would give us something warm to do inside. And then, just for fun, we could use them as target practice with nerf darts. Love ya, Aunt Becky

Shawna said...

Random question for anyone who wants to offer any advice!

Our bedroom has 2 windows - one sits above a window seat and the other is above our bed. Since neither window really has any room to let panels hang freely to the ground...I was thinking either roman shades or balloon curtains...what do you think?

I can't find any I really like at the major stores...where should I look?

Lilly from Lilly's Notebook said...

Dying!! I just did a post on silhouettes!!!

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

Oh love these! I would probably go with grey, or purple, or...turquoise? hard choice!

I think I'm going to consider this for my entryway ;)

Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids said...

Love this idea! That wall is stunning.

Sarah said...

These are fun silhouette's with their different colors. I want them of my boys, hubs and me. oh and our dog and cat.

Tulip and Turnip said...

Love this post!

I have a thing for silhouettes (even though I can never spell it correctly on the first try!).

This would be such a great DIY project. Take a photo of the subject's profile, print it out, glue it onto colored paper, cut it out, and flip it over so you only see the paper side. OR you could print out the photo and paint it with colored tempera paint. I'm seeing a Mother's Day Craft in my future... :)

Thanks for the great idea! You are such an inspiration!

Brandi said...

I just did a post about modern silhouettes last week! I'm planning on making one out of black and white floral paper. I'm thinking thats my weekend project!

carlee {deliciously organized} said...

Such a nice twist on the typical silhouette. Always love a punch of color!

Navy Bean said...

I'm a huge fan of Carter Kustera, actually ever since one of my clients had him draw their silhouettes for their wedding. They incorporated the silhouettes through their entire wedding stationery suite and it looked amazing! Take a peek here:
http://navybeanonline.blogspot.com/2010/12/allyson-andrews-wedding.html

Andrea @ White Picket Fences said...

I love the silhouettes of the pets. So great! Mine would be yellow, for sure.

riva. said...

Wow. Those are incredibly interesting. I feel like they'd only really have an effect on a white wall.

RivaflowzDOTcom

yippiemom said...

Timely post as I was just thinking today that I want to do a gallery wall and include colored silhouettes. They are timeless yet still modern and fresh. Thanks for the inspiration. Definitely yellow for my little guy, red for the hubby and turquoise for me. We are so boring! :)

Hello Grey Day said...

I literally gasped when I saw these! It's my first time seeing them, and I have had silhouettes on the brain lately.
I just added bright colored silhouettes of famous authors to my etsy shop this week!
I love the classic/modern combination they make.

hellogreyday.etsy.com

mstreetdenver said...

I love this trend too. The color is so fun and playful. Thanks for sharing!

Shellyw said...

These are fantastic! Totally in love with them, but ouch on the price tag. Humm...wondering if a DIY project might be in order. Love.

sarah said...

those silhouettes are darling!

i think i'd be a sunshine yellow. maybe hot pink. those fun colors make me smile.

Victoria said...

This idea is so fabulous! What a fun way to showcase a family!

Kirsten said...

I love this idea! it would make a really cute Xmas card actually :)

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