I did this project last year for the spring arts festival. The third graders painted all of the squares! The trick to a successful painting is to choose a simple image with limited color palette. Even a limited palette will yield a lot of colors.
I will try and give clear instructions, but I must admit, I'm feeling a little antsy this morning so my directions may be a bit sketchy.
1.Figure out the dimensions you want your painting to be. It should divided evenly into squares. One you have your measurements cut squares out of canvas sheets. In my painting the square measure 4". 2. Choose an image. Open in photoshop. Apply the cutout filter. This will simplify the image and create clear edges between colors. Print out this image. Trace image onto tracing paper. You will be tracing the contours of the color shapes. With a ruler draw your grid, using the dimensions already determined in step one. Go to kinko (or other office supply store) and enlarge this drawing with grid to your desired dimensions. In my project the measurements were 32"x36" for the pear and 32"x32" for the apple. I just realized as I'm writing this there is a whole other step-uh! Figuring out the colors (If you are really interested in doing this project please email me for this step. It's a biggy! sorry:( 3.Make sure all of your squares are numbers so that you know where they go when you reassemble. At this point you should already have your number key and numbers placed in all the shapes for the color. Cut out squares. Cut one square the same size 4" out of tracing paper. Color this square with pencil. This will be your transfer paper. 4 and 5. Now, you will have three squares, canvas, graphite transfer paper, and the picture. Canvas on bottom, graphite in middle(graphite side facing canvas, picture on top. Trace image and it will transfer onto canvas. 6. Make sure to put the number on the back of the canvas. Hand out one canvas square to each student. Using your color key set up palettes. We used plastic lids. Divided the lid into sections using a sharpie. Wrote the numbers that cooresponded with the numbers on the canvas and pour the paint. Some color had to be custom mixed. I used craft paint. 7. Assemble finished squares on 1/8 thick masonite. Adhere with mod podge. Varnish! 8. Frame!