People often ask me how I come up with projects. My mind wanders a lot during the day (and when I’m up with one of my kids in the middle of the night) which is usually when I come up with new projects. I was thinking about this huge black and white photograph I developed in my college photography class and how I hand tinted it. Photography oils aren’t exactly the best material to use with my little ones in my Toddler Time class so I started experimenting with other techniques. Good news! After much trial and error I figured out a fun way for kids to color black and white photographs while still keeping it all about the process. These Painted Black and White Photography Portrait Canvases are such a fun project for all ages (I totally want to do my own now!).
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WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE PAINTED BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY PORTRAIT CANVASES
canvases- 1 per child- I love these 8 x 10 canvas panels– they are an inexpensive alternative to the thick canvases
black and white photographs of faces- I printed them out on regular printer paper, but next time will use cardstock for better results
mod podge – you will need this to create a glossy coat over the paper
paint- for best results slightly water down tempera paints- these neon paints would be perfect!
HOW TO MAKE THE PAINTED BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY PORTRAIT CANVASES
Begin by printing out black and white photographs of each person. I like close up shots so the children can really focus on their faces. Brush a thing layer of mod podge on the canvas and then smooth the photograph on top of the canvas. Next brush a thin layer of mod podge on top of the photograph. Just a thing layer will do. Let dry completely. It takes about 20 minutes. While the photographs are drying you can set out the paints and brushes. I love small baby food jars for projects like this. Add a small bit of water to each paint to thin it out.
Next, show the children how to use small amounts of paint and large brush strokes across the photographs. The key to this project is to have the children focus on big brush strokes so the photograph still comes through. If the child globs paint on you won’t be able to see the photograph. Of course, process is always of the utmost importance to me, so if a child really wants to layer the paint on, no biggie, let her enjoy the process!
Once the children decide they are done let the canvases dry completely. Display and enjoy these creative faces!