How to Create Silhouette Portraits in Illustrator | Designs By Miss Mandee

How to Create Silhouette Portraits in Illustrator

It’s time again to put on our design hats and learn a new skill! Today I’m excited to share a tutorial on how to create silhouette portraits in Adobe Illustrator. Learn how to turn a simple picture of a friend or family member into an awesome, vintage momento.

How to Create Silhouette Portraits in Illustrator

The main tools you will be using:

The Pen Tool

Shortcut: P





Paste in Back

Edit>Paste in Back

Shortcut: ⌘B


Minus Front/Subtract

Window>Pathfinder>Minus Front/Subtract


Compound Path

Object>Compound Path>Make

Shortcut: ⌘8

See, how simple is that?

I’ve talked before about how much I love profile silhouettes like these (mostly because of Disneyland). I think that having silhouettes of people you love is just so fun! And, as a designer, it’s a cool challenge to be able to be able to simplify someone’s image while keeping it recognizable.

Now that you know how to design these silhouettes, you’ve got an awesome skill in your arsenal! Just think about how you could put this to use for your mom’s next birthday. You know she would LOVE to have her kid’s silhouettes framed and hanging on the wall! Or, you could make a silhouette portrait for a bride and groom. Now that’s a wedding gift they’ll cherish forever! Creating silhouettes like these would really be perfect for any gift-giving scenario.

Have fun using your new design skills to make awesome silhouettes! Who’s silhouette will you be doing first?

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How to Create Silhouette Portraits

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