Silhouettes in Drawing

One of the important principles in good drawing is the silhouette. If a drawing can be blacked-in so that all you see is the shape, and the image is still readable and communicative, then you have made a good silhouette. The interior lines of a character or object will enhance a drawing that has a clear silhouette. A person will be able to tell what a character is feeling many times through the body language communicated in the silhouette.

The simpler the pose is, the better it will be at revealing important information intended for the viewer.

Logos also benefit by the impact of a simple silhouette. See how the following images are all examples of clear communication without extraneous detailing.

Silhouettes in drawing, Ydraw artist, drawing sihouettes

As you can tell, you are able to easily identify all of the shapes above and what they represent.  Logos use this because it’s easy on the eyes, it’s simple, and it gets the point across.  They are able to apply their logo on just about anything and it will look good because there isn’t too much going on and it isn’t going to clash with any other designs.

You’ll also notice that there is nothing going on in the background of the silhouettes.  So if you are wanting to try to create one…you can set up a camera and take a picture of something against a white background.  Then just outline the image and fill it in.  See if a silhouette will work for that object.  Or you can set up a light that hits directly onto the object, which will cast a shadow, or a silhouette.

Silhouettes are easy and simple, but can often times add a lot of flair to your design.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments for us here at Ydraw.

-Jared Beckstrand