Expanding Pictures


This is a very effective technique to magnify the effects of a great image.

Young children have enjoyed this activity using images of animals, motorbikes, or an action sporting figure.

I have had Middle School students use an image of a celebrity icon, favorite band or artist in black and white, which looks really effective.


Original Picture



Expanded Picture





Find an image with one or two main objects in it. Photocopy it 3 times.

Place the images on top of each other and on the blank side divide it into 1cm strips.

Cut these strips out, but they need to be kept in order!

Number the strips starting from the left of the picture, going to the right.

The first strip (the image repeated 3 times) should be numbered pieces 1, 2, and 3.  The second will have pieces 4, 5, and 6, and so forth.

Find backing paper that compliments the colours in your picture.

Begin gluing starting from number 1.  Line the top of the picture up with the top of your backing paper – otherwise the picture tends to not line up correctly.

Keep a 2-3mm gap between each strip that you glue so that the backing paper can be seen between each strip.

When you have finished let it dry completely and then trim the long edges to make a neat finish.

Place your awesome expanding picture onto a piece of cardboard and enjoy your marvellous art work!


Teaching Points:

This is a relatively easy activity that can achieve excellent results and a good one to do with children who need a boost. Younger children may need a helping hand to get going, but once they understand the method it’s all systems go.

For grief and loss, this activity is good for building rapport with young people.  It can lead to discussions about interest, hobbies, likes and dislikes, fears and accomplishments.  I would perhaps hesitate to use this with an image of a child’s deceased pet, as it could produce a fractured image of their beloved pet.

This could be incorporated with a character or famous person study.

Looking at colours that blend and contrast, the effects of light and dark, the effect of colours on each other or on an image, and perspective may be explored.

This is a good activity to link with math concepts like repeating patterns and spatial awareness.


Links to the Australian Curriculum:

Learning Area: The Arts http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/


Visual Arts

Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes the make artworks (ACAVAM107)


For more information about grief and loss  for children please  visit  blueskiestomorrow.com




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