Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grid Art Masterpiece

Cut-up pieces of original piece
Every school year, I like to begin my art lessons with a collaborative project with my students.  I begin with finding a popular piece of art online and copying and pasting it onto an 8.5' x 11' piece of paper.  I print it out in color and on the backside I divide the paper into 63 equal pieces (it takes a bit of math but somehow I do it). Before I cut the pieces out, I number each of them on the non-printed side so I can collect them back from the students and put the picture together in numerical order.  I then take a white piece of paper that is 18" x 24" and divide it into 63 pieces and cut it up.

2011-2012: Starry Night Recreated
Now the fun begins, I start by giving each student a blank piece of the paper and a piece of the cut-up picture.  I do not tell the students what piece of art we are recreating, and throughout the process you can hear them guessing as to what it might be.  I instruct students on how they enlarge the image on the paper they received and we talk about tips and strategies they can use to help them (we talk a lot about scale).  Before students turn in their final square piece that they created, they need to make sure they write the number in the same direction as on the original piece that was given to them.
2011-2012: American Gothic Recreated

Students continue to recreate and enlarge pieces until all 63 pieces are done (I collect each piece as it's completed to be sure none are lost).  Once finished, I hand out all the recreated pieces in a random order to the class.  One by one, I call up the pieces in numerical order and glue them down on a piece of butcher paper.  Students watch as the famous art piece  that was once a cut-up piece on 8.5" x 11" paper is originally recreated by the class on a larger scale. It is one of our favorite pieces of artwork and we prominently hang it in the class.  Additional, I also upload it to each students' online portfolio on Artsonia

Try it with your class and share with me pictures of the final product!


  1. I'm nominating you for an award. Hop over to my blog to find out about it!


  2. I recommended you on google plus and I am pinning your work on pinterest! :)

    1. Thank you Rachel! I appreciate the support. :-)

  3. Why did you cut the artwork into 63 pieces? I might have missed that somewhere.

    1. I divided it into 63 pieces so I had 9 rows of 7. However, you can divide it into as many pieces as you would like. Since I had 16 students, this enabled them to do a minimum of 3 pieces each. :-) Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Hi Katie, I have tried to print out an online image as an 8.5x11 size but haven't been able to do so. Any recommendations? Also what did you use for the colouring portion?


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