En Grisaille Miniatures


Understated miniature portraits with a strangely compelling presence
Created by Charles Burns

En grisaille portraits are a unique fusion of freehand cutting and Charles’ skilful drawing technique.

Sitting for your portrait

We will need to schedule a live sitting over Zoom.

During the sitting, Charles will cut your portrait from white paper, showing you the result. Afterwards, he will carefully embellishing it with fine graphite in the studio.

The result will an uncannily engaging likeness which will make a remarkable addition to any collection.

Please read our commissioning notes below

SKU: grisaille-R Category: Tag:
Please share this:

En grisaille is an ancient term, originally used for a greyscale underdrawing created as a guide for painting. Charles first cuts these miniature portraits from white paper before drawing the details in fine graphite.

Commissioning an en grisaille portrait

You do not need to visit our studio.

You’ll find that creating a silhouette portrait is an enjoyable process!

It takes time, and your involvement in the process will be crucial to a successful commission. We make this really easy for you with our five-stage commissioning process.

@silhouettist five-stage commissioning process

This is the process we will follow to make your portraits. Please read and be prepared to take part.

  1. You place an order, optionally attaching some reference photos after you check out
  2. We invite you to choose a date and time for a virtual portrait sitting
    • if no suitable studio day is coming up, we’ll schedule a bespoke sitting for you (dependant on Charles’ availability)
    • you can ask Charles to work from photographs only, but please read the relevant terms and conditions first
  3. Once we agree a date and time for a sitting, you will meet Charles and pose for him at a Zoom meeting
    • during the sitting Charles will make a white-paper cutting, make some initial sketches and take a screen shot of the pose
  4. After the sitting he’ll work on the drawing. He’ll then send a proof photo by email for your comment or approval
    • if any alterations are necessary these will be made before a second (usually final) proof is sent for approval
    • if you feel further alterations are needed we may ask you to appear at a second virtual sitting and/or send further reference photos
  5. Once you’re pleased with the result, Charles will mount the portrait on a card colour of your choice. He’ll then sign and deliver it to you, together with a stamped certificate of authenticity
    • we include tracked worldwide delivery in the fee

The whole process may take time, dependant on Charles’ schedule and your own participation. If you need these portraits for a particular date (eg: an anniversary or birthday) please let us know when you place the order.


Weight 20 g
Dimensions 180 × 125 × 1 mm

Graphite on scissor-cut paper


90gsm acid-free white laid paper


150 gsm laid card

Card colour

Default = Navy blue, other colours available on request


This portrait is supplied unframed
By default it will fit a standard 7"x 5" photo frame, either oval or rectangular


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “En Grisaille Miniatures”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket