Planning a party? Really want a 'pin-the-tail' game and can't find the right one to fit your theme? No problem, just scale up an image and you can make your own! In fact this technique has a number of applications and will help you to copy or enlarge any image by hand. Great for cards to send into kids TV channels, posters, face-in-hole photo boards and even full scale wall murals :D
What you'll need:
- An image to copy
- A large sheet of paper (eg-A2)
- A pencil
- A good eraser
- A ruler
- Pencils/Paint/Felt tips
Firstly you need to find a good colour image of the character you want to use. Consider which item or part of them you want your guests to pin to the background image; for example; for a pony it might be the tail, for a clown a nose, etc etc. Make sure the position of this is prominent in the photo - we are not going to draw it but it helps if you can clearly see the object should be.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I am using 'Pinkie Pie' from the 'my little pony: friendship is magic' TV series as this is the theme of my daughter's 3rd birthday party [more posts to follow] so the object we will not be drawing is the tail.
Now, print out the image. I've used a colour image so I can reference the shades of pink when adding colour later, however a draft copy in black and white or outline image would work just as well.
Take a pencil and ruler and draw a grid of squares over the image. I chose to use 1cm squares so I measured and marked equal intervals of 1cm on one side, then the other and made a connecting line using the ruler. Then I did the same top and bottom, which should make nice even squares. Write 1, 2, 3, 4...etc along the top of each square and then a, b, c... etc along the side. This is for your own reference so you can track each square by calling it a1 or f6 later on.
Now take your large sheet of paper, I used A2. My small image fitted in a grid 9 squares by 12. So I measured the A2 paper, allowed for a border and divided by the 9 and 12, and this gave me squares of 4cm. I marked them as before and used the ruler to draw a light line between them (you may need to make interval marks at several heights and connect them if the length is bigger than your ruler). Effectively by multiplying our original 1cm square by 4 we should end up with an image that is 4 times the size.
This will work with ANY measurement, whether you are using mm, cm, inch or even yard squares, just multiply up by the required fraction.
OK, so that's the fiddly maths part out of the way, now for the artsy part :)
Rather than trying to copy a picture in it's entirety, all you have to concentrate on is copying a single square tile.... and then another and another until you can connect them all to make a picture.
To show you an example of how this works I've copied one tile (f7) and enlarge it in a blank area to show how it would look in isolation before drawing more of the surrounding tiles. The simplest technique for copying tiles is to mark on the side the approximate point that the lines pass through with a little dot and then join them with a curved line. Just make sure that when connecting lines or drawing part of larger shapes like circles that your lines are smooth and don't look disjointed. And don't forget not to copy the item that you intend your guests to pin!
By copying the picture tile by tile you will soon make up and outline of the whole picture. Now is a good time to review the picture as a whole - do the lines that go through several squares match up? Does that circle look more oval?
Here is the finished pencil outline of Pinking Pie, minus that lovely curly tail. She looks pretty accurate, so now for a more permanent outline...
For most cartoon characters a black outline will suffice here, simply go over all your lines with a sharpie or felt tip carefully avoiding the grid lines, however this is a Lauren Faust style My Little Pony and the outline lines each are a darker shade of the fill colour - so I used coloured felt tips on the outlines and a black sharpie marker for the eyes and eyelashes.
The next step is to rub out all the pencil marks (both grid and the outline marks you went over). This is a bigger job than you might think and you'll be grateful for a good quality eraser and lightly pressed pencil marks. There might still be traces of marks visible once you are done, so if you are a perfectionist instead of erasing the grid lines, place a new piece of A2 over the image and trace the outline onto the clean piece.
Now it's time to colour your image. You can use pencils, crayons, felt tips, tissue paper or even paint. It might even be a fun project to give to the kids and let them help! I used coloured pencils, as I felt this was the easiest way to get an all over colour very quickly. The best advice when using pencils is to try to keep your pencil strokes going in the same direction as the surrounding lines, or to use a hashing technique (strokes one way and then the opposite way).
I quite like the shaded effect I got by using the pencils, although this isn't quite 'as-per' the original image, I quite like the fact it is so obviously 'hand drawn'.
The final thing to do is to decide how to represent the 'tail' or object you want your guest to pin and put an 'x' to mark the correct location. Guests could just use their finger. You could use cut out tails or give them a pen or a sticker. I am going to give the guests a pink self inking stamp and might even create a 'tail' by sticking some felt or fun fur out of the hole in the handle, will have to wait and see! Party related posts should be appearing soon and the finished results will be posted mid June.
I hope this tutorial was helpful. I learnt this technique at school and it has been very useful over the years - I hope you find a good use for it too :D