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Artists: How to color the Mona Lisa?

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We are doing a 4-H skit with a poster-sized b&w copy of the Mona Lisa...digitally altered to have someone else's face. The b&w was our only option, color was too expensive. So how can I color it myself? Ha--yes, I want to make a DaVinci reproduction. I was thinking of taking chalk and adding color, thinking that it would be easiest to blend and mottle to achieve a realistic yet inexpensive effect. But then again, I know nothing about art materials. Do any of you have any suggestions? We have some oil pastels but they don't seem to smudge well, at least not as I was using them. They produced a more crayoned look, while I'm just aiming for overall color that I can sweep on and then smudge out obvious lines.


The other thing I wonder if you can help with is mounting. The poster is just thin paper, like printer paper. Is there a simple way to adhere that to foam core or carboard? I don't need professional results, just a way to stabilize it.


Thank you to all who can help!

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We've made quite a few 4-H posters, and they come out the best when using a spray glue. We had used glue sticks in the past, but the glue would dry before we got it all gluey on a big poster. Even if we got the glue on right, it would unstick in some places.


Staples prints large posters on regular paper quite inexpensively. We've mounted them onto foam-core by using spray glue. It comes in an aerosol type can. You can buy it in the craft section of a department store, or at Staples (although it is about $15/can there). Measure and mark where it should go on the foam core (we place a small dot where each corner of the poster should go), place the poster face-down on some newspaper (there is quite a bit of very sticky overspray), spray a light coat, making sure to get all the corners (it will speckle the front of your paper if you spray too much in one spot), and carefully place it on the foam core. You'll need two competent people to do this. We have one person lift the poster and the other person line up the top two corners, then slowly lower from one end to the other, brushing it flat as we go.


I'd use chalk pastels after mounting.


Good luck!

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The thin, plain paper you described would not support chalk or soft pastels. You need pastel paper with "tooth" that will actually hold the pigments of chalk (pastel) to the surface of the paper. You will end up with a big mess without the right kind of paper.


I would recommend the oil pastels, but use Q-tips dipped in alchohol to blend them a bit. Not all oil pastels are the same, so use the alchohol sparingly at first and test on another paper to see if it works or not, how much, etc.


Another idea would be to use colored pencils. This would be time consuming if the poster is big, but they can be blended nicely with clean pastic erasers (the white rectangular kind of erasers). Colored pencils can also blend together when you use 2-3 colors together at a time (i.e. light over dark shades, or white over the top of other colors). You can get some very nice effects. Colored pencils can also be blended with water or alchohol, but test first on another paper before trying this.


Best of luck! I hope you have fun with this project. Let me know how it goes, okay?






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