Illustrated Journal: Silhouettes

Being able to create a form using only figure/ground techniques and the use of s has always been something I have found intriguing. There is so many ways in which artists can use silhouettes to tell stories and create images. It also adds a new dimensions that most people don’t think about in art, such as posing and clarity. Due to the lack of detail, you now need to find a way to show what is happening in the image clearly to help convey your ideas and make it interesting.

Kara Walker is a good example of this as all of her images involve a lot of posed people and props all placed in a way to show whats happening. In a way it’s very 2-dimensional and what it lacks in shading details it makes up for in interesting figure/ground creations inte edges where white meets black. Another good example is seen on the website Instead of people, there are animals but they are all poesed in a way in which all of them are recognizable. Of course you could avoid all of the posing and work the way George Seurat did. None of his silhouettes feature dynamic pose work, however to compromise he did give the figures minimal shading and lighting so the image still conveys its ideas. He also used bright lighting directly behind the figure to help define them even more despite lack of pose detail.

Silhouettes can also be used quite creatively within a video medium as well. Dandy Punk for example uses both silhouettes from himself and his projections, and projected light to get his ideas and video across to the audience. He interacts with them, being both a silhouette and a lit up figure at times. Another example of it silouettes being used creatively in film in a fight scene of the the show Madoka Magika involving a character named Elsa Maria. The character herself is only shown in a silhouette and when she is fought the entire battle take place in silhouette form. This fight also highlights the importance of a personal silhouette for a character as well, as despite the lack of color or shading one could instantly recognize the different characters as different people.

Using and experimenting can create some interesting results as it allows the audience to fill in the blanks. I like seeing how different groups and people approach or embrace the different “problems” that come from working in this form.

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