Simplify and recreate a photo or other image with colorful paper! You can use one of your own photos or find one online, in a book, or magazine!

What You’ll Need:

White Paper
Colored paper
Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
Scissors or X-acto knife

Step 1:
Find an image you like that contains a foreground, middle ground, and background. Landscapes are great because they have more depth, and often have a stronger distinction between different elements, such as a hill, a house, a road. Try to avoid images that have too many details, or where elements in the image blend together. Finding a good image is one of the most challenging parts of this project!

Step 2:
Blur your eyes and try to identify separate elements in the image and large areas where the same texture and color reside (i.e. a forest, the sky, clouds, a mountain, a more distant mountain). Determine four or five different elements that you would like to represent, keeping in mind that each section will be its own distinct color.

Step 3:
Sketch the picture on a sheet of paper, only including the outline of the elements you chose, and identify each section, noting their position in space. Which section is closest to you? Which is furthest away? Which lives in between the two? 

Step 4:
Each section will be a different color of paper. You can color in your sketch to determine what colors you would like to use where. You may want to taking into consideration their “stacking order,” or what pieces will be in the front (foreground), which in the back (background), etc. 

Step 5:
Get your colored paper ready. Make sure all pieces of paper are originally the same size as your drawing. 

Step 6:
Cut out your layers. You should not need to cut the background layer because the others above it will be cut! On your sketch, work from the background to the foreground, cutting only the edge where that layer meets a layer that is behind it. For example, if your image is an open sky with hills and a winding road, 1. You don’t have to cut out the sky, 2. Cut the line where the sky meets the hills, and 3. Use the piece (that includes the hills and road) as a stencil. The pieces of your sketch will serve as stencils. Only after you used the stencil to cut out a copy of your color choice, then cut out the road and use it as a stencil.

Step 7:
Stack and connect your layers! You can use a loop of tape (sticky side out) to create just a little bit of spacing between layers. If you want, you can even add a top “frame” layer around your art!

Created by BAC Faculty Member Deb Hicks.