A more difficult project that produces excellent results. Students start with a digital picture, and use a modified "paint by number" technique to create a self-portrait, using three tints and three shades of a color.
- digital camera
- photo editing software--I use Kodak EasyShare software which came with my camera, and is also available for a free download.
- printer paper
- 9"x12" illustration board or white card stock
- acrylic paints--at least one color, plus black and white
- paint brushes
- water buckets
- paper towels
- Take a close-up digital photo of the student's face. If the student knows how to use the camera they can take the photo.
- Open each photo in Kodak EasyShare. Click on "Edit." Crop the face so that it is very close. Just the face and a little of the neck should show.
- Go to "Scene Effects." Click on "Black and White." Adjust the contrast until you get a good, clear photo.
- Print out the pictures in 8"x10" size and in black and white.
- Turn the print over to the back and completely cover the back with pencil lead. This will allow the print to be transferred.
- Tape the print onto an illustration board or piece of card stock of the same size.
- Trace every section of the photo where it changes color extremely carefully. The sections are very irregular and bumpy, so the more carefully this is done the more the portrait will look like the photo.
- After it is all traced, assign numbers from 1 to 7 to each section. Number 1 will be the lightest color, and 7 will be the darkest. Write the numbers on your print as a reference.
- Choose one color of paint for your portrait. You will need to mix 3 tints and 3 shades of that color for your portrait. Squirt out 7 small piles of your main color. Add different amounts of black to three of the piles to make 3 different shades. Don't make the shades too dark. Add different amounts of white to three more piles to make 3 tints. Don't add anything to the last pile.
- Review techniques for painting with acrylic paint:
Put your paints in order from lightest to darkest.
- Always moisten brush in water first. Then pat the bristles dry on a paper towel before painting.
- Rinse brush thoroughly before changing to a new color.
- Rinse by rubbing brush on the bottom of cup and wiping on edge, NOT TAPPING.
- Pat the bristles dry on paper towel before painting with new color.
- Dip only the tip of the brush in paint (no more than half way up bristles). The ferrule (metal plate holding the bristles) must be completely free of paint! Otherwise it will drip on your hands and your work.
- Wipe up any spills immediately with damp rag.
- Hold the brush like a pencil for greater control.
Now, all that is left to do is to paint by number. The lightest paint is number 1 and the darkest paint is number 7. Blend the edges of each section where two colors join so that no paper shows.
When the portraits are dry, cut them out and mount on black construction paper.