Blowing Up an Image:   

Part 1. Image Selection Finding a Picture Within A Picture by "Cropping".

What is Cropping?

Cropping is selecting portions of a total picture and omitting (cutting out) other portions which have less interest. Parts are omitted that do not seem to fit the intentions of the designer.

Who uses cropping?

Cropping is used by photographers, publishers, and commercial artists, publishers and now us.

What are we trying to achieve by cropping a picture?

In our selection we will be guided by two main ideas. First aim, to produce a cropped area which will have a good arrangement, offering a variety of shapes, tones and detail. It must make a good pattern or design. This means that it must not be too boring or too plain visually.

The Second aim, is to produce an image that will have the quality of abstraction. In other words the forms may not be immediately appear recognizable because of the areas which have been selected.

How to Crop:

Cut 4 paper strips about 1 to 1 ½ inches wide and 8 to 10 inches long. These will be placed over the picture blocking some parts. Move the strips around until you have created an interesting cropped area, a pattern based upon the criteria just mentioned above. The size of your cropped image need not be large. It can be any size even quite small (less than 2 or 3 inches square). When you have achieved your cropped image it should be a regular shape such as a rectangle or a square. Do not use weird sizes as they can not be used with the grid system we will use to reproduce the cropped image on a larger scale.


Part 2. Making a blowup:

1. After you have cropped your image you will need to secure the cropped model. It can be cut and mounted neatly on a sheet of paper, So you will not be distracted by the parts which have been cropped off. OR, You could also place some paper masking tape around the outline and secure the area which will be copied.

2. You will now try to blow up the cropped area onto a large sheet of paper 18 by 24. So you will need a grid system in which a certain size square grid on the small picture can be translated to a corresponding square grid on the large paper

3. Make your grids on the small picture 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or 1 inch depending on the size of the picture you have cropped.

4. If your count of grids on the long side of your cropped image is 6 you will use 6 units on your large page. Thus you will divide 6 into 24 and each unit will be 4 inches. Please!! Make your grids in pencil, VERY, VERY LIGHTLY and CAREFULLY and do not draw them in darkly. NO Heavy Lines!

Complete the picture:

Any of several techniques can be used you may be asked to do another media and technique than the one described here.

Complete the picture using one DARK crayon which will be used to draw and to shade. Black is best, A Dark purple or blue could also be used. Place an extra sheet under the large sheet to eliminate any scratches that may transfer from your table top. Some padding under your drawing is better for tonal drawing!. Observe outlines and the tones in each of the grid zones as you reproduce each grid.

Updated 2023