Using a photograph as a guide you will create lines to break up your composition into shapes that will be filled with texture. Using pieces of magazine you will create a mosaic background to both add color and texture to your portrait. The paper cut portrait will then be overlaid on top.


Artwork by Shannon Lawson, San Francisco, CA


  • 8.5 x 11” print-out of a portrait photo
  • 8.5 x 11" thick black paper
  • School glue
  • Scissors
  • Magazine (to be cut up for color and texture)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Stapler
  • Black permanent marker
  • Optional: Mod Podge or gel medium to seal piece


  • Start with a print-out of a close-up portrait of someone. Their shoulders and head should fill the frame.
  • Using a stapler, secure the photo print-out to the black paper.
  • Use a permanent marker to trace out the main details.


  • What types of textures does your piece have?
  • How did the same of your magazine cut-outs affect the appearance of your collage? Create an interesting title for your work based on the textures and mood of the portrait.
  • Take a photo of your finished portrait, post it online and tag #ArtSchoolElements.