- © theartofmann.org, 2012.
Photo tinting… yo MAMA!
(or your dad, or grandparent…)
Tinting is a simple technique that challenges students of all ages to pay attention to detail, and even young children can do this project with success. Photo tinting is similar to working with a coloring book, as students will discover as they fill black-and-white spaces with color. In this project, class pictures are enlarged, printed in black-and-white and tinted. The use of non-traditional colors is encouraged. For years famous painters have used odd choices of color for portraits. Can students name a contemporary figure with unusual coloring? Consider characters in television and movies, too.
During the 1950s and 60s professional paints were often used for traditional, realistic photo tinting. Students can use these inexpensive materials to works of art.
Grade Levels K-6
Note: Instructions and materials based on a class of 25 students. Adjust as needed.
1. Start with a photo of each student; this could be a class photo. If students don’t have one, take a close-up picture of each child. Include shoulders and head. Take black and white photos if possible. If not, print photos in black and white. Enlarge photos to 8-1/2″ x 11’.
2. The tinting process requires just a light application of oil pastels so that the original gray tones of the black and white photo always show through. Use oil pastels that are firm so they will resist smudging. Use the oil pastels in light layers. The tortillons will help gently place the color into corner areas. If the color is put on too thickly, use the tortillons to remove excess.
3. Gently blend color in the background but keep most of the color on the face and shoulders. Tip: Black pastel isn’t used much but white helps lighten the colors to be more of a pastel tint.
4. Photos are traditionally presented in a mat. To create a mat, cut a piece of 22″ x 28″ posterboard into 4 pieces 11″ x 14″ each. Use one 11″ x 14″ piece of posterboard as a backing with each photo mat. Place posterboard end-to-end with the back side of the photo mat. Tape the full length of this joint creating a hinge.
5. Spray the tinted photo to prevent smudging. Place the finished piece on a large piece of newspaper. Shake the can and spray across the artwork. Always start off the artwork and spray across and off the other side. This prevents drips and overspray.
6. When dry, place the artwork under the mat opening and position so that all salvage edges are covered. Lift the mat and tape along the top piece of the artwork to secure it to the backing. Do not tape all edges of the artwork down – this constricts the object and can cause wrinkling and buckling.
Gray Paper Stumps
Clear Finish, Matte Fixative Spray
Masking Tape, 1/2″
White Posterboard 22″ x 28” ; cut to 11″ x 14″ to use as a backing for photo mats
Use a photo of your mom, dad, grandma or yourself to make this gift special!
Master Artist Lesson possibilities: