Silhouette Cutting on Zoom?

Charles Burns talks about his virtual studio days

Meet me on Zoom and pose while I cut out your portrait with scissors

Silhouette Cutting: a rapid process

I like to work fast. My silhouette portraits are cut freehand from black paper, using a pair of surgical scissors. Each silhouette takes just two or three minutes, depending on how complicated your hairstyle is! One of the advantages of speed is that you don’t need to sit still for too long. Even small children and animals can easily pose for a silhouette.

A pair of classic cameo silhouettes
Cameos of a man and woman in two oval mounts, cut in one sitting

Your ten-minute sitting

My Zoom days are divided into ten-minute sittings. Ten minutes may not sound very long, but it’s more than enough to cut silhouettes of two people. I can cut you out as a pair of classic cameo portraits – mounted in separate oval mounts – or as one double silhouette, mounted on a larger card.

Family group of three silhouettes
A family of four in one double and two cameo silhouettes, cut in two consecutive sittings

If there are three or four of you, please book two consecutive sittings. If there are five or six of you, please book three. It’s as simple as that. Quite often there is time left over to make a silhouette of the dog (if you have one) or just to chat about silhouettes and their fascinating history.

You’ll find the process both fun and educational. Most people are amazed that silhouettes can be made this way! The odd thing is, you don’t even need to sit that still…

Two couples, face to face and back to back
Two double silhouettes, in different styles, each cut in a single sitting

Wriggly kids and disobedient dogs

After more than twenty years spent cutting silhouettes at events up and down the country, as The Roving Artist, I’m used to cutting portraits of moving targets. Sometimes, I even prefer it; the unpredictable nature of a live sitting often adds life to the finished portrait.

Silhouettes of a boy and dod on a white card with a pair of scissors
Boy with hat and his dog, cut in one sitting

Working with animals and small children is no problem.

Browse our upcoming virtual studio days

So pick a date, the coupon you need is: SCISSORS

I tend to schedule Zoom dates to take place at different times of day. This is to allow for time differences.

  1. Morning events are suitable for those in the Middle and Far East, as well as Australia
  2. Daytime events are suitable for those based in Europe or the UK
  3. Afternoon events are suitable for those in the UK and the East Coast of America
  4. Evening events are suitable for those based in any US time zone

All studio days run on London time. Check the clock upper right to help you work out the right time for your sitting.

A Family Heirloom

Sample Certificate of Authenticity
Certificate of Authenticity

At the end of the day I mount the silhouettes onto cards, sign them with my name, Charles Burns, and backed them with a stamped certificate of authenticity. I can add your names too, if you like, for posterity. I’ll then post them to you anywhere in the world (included in the cost) together with the off cuts.

I make silhouettes in exactly the same way that silhouettists have been making therm for over 200 years. The silhouettes haven’t changed much, but the sittings certainly have.

Just paper and scissors

Silhouettes of a boy and girl together with off-cuts & scissors
Cameos of a boy and girl with their offcuts, all cut in one sitting

Some people like to save the off cuts. They don’t always survive the cutting process, so this can’t be guaranteed, but if you’d like them please do ask.

A couple facing each other in silhouette
A face-to-face double (requires one sitting)

Past Dates


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