Terrence Banks
Adult School Administrator

Wonderful World Of Pixels

Lesson Plan Published 12/6/13 Last updated on 5/16/18

Coming from a purely art teaching background, I used to tell students that when you draw things sometimes looking at the big picture will frustrate you. I told them to think simple, to trick the critical part of yourself by focusing on the small stuff. Don't think lips, think shape. Don't think eye, think line. Don't think color, think value.

In order to introduce pixels to my digital photography students I used a lesson my art students loved. The gist of the lesson is to introduce the way pixels by themselves don't show the whole picture. But when you put hundreds of pixels together with a range of values or tones you start to see a complete image.

This lesson can be applied to any subject. With this lesson you can add a bit of drawing to whatever topic your working on with your class.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

1+ Week
Communication and Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation

Don't be afraid to this with younger students the result can be just as effective. If you are doing this with younger students the image you chose to reproduce would be a line drawing. If you have older students I would do a tonal based image. 


You will need an image, choose something related to kids or the culture. (I usually choose 9 teachers using their staff photos) Then present them to the staff later in the year. 

Paper (Depending on how big you want these) I use 36X24 sheets of paper as a base to glue the smaller squares on. If you want to go smaller you will have to do the math, I find that the bigger the better. I usually do 9 per class. The material list below is for 1 image. Just double triple the amount if you are doing more.

·  Backing the squares will be glued on: 36X24 sheet of paper for 4-inch squares. 20X24 sheet of paper for 2 inch squares. You could use pretty much anything for this though, cardboard old posters...etc.

·  Squares students will be drawing on: You will need (54) 4-inch squares per image. If you are going smaller like the 20X24 paper you will need (120) 2-inch squares per image.

·  Squares students will be copying: These squares will be cut from images processed in Photoshop’s cut out effect. You will use a 6X9 image (54 1 inch squares) for the 36X24 sheet of paper. You will put a 1-inch grid on the front and back of this image, numbering them on the back. (Draw on 4-inch squares)

Images as well as more instructions are located in the Word Document uploaded.

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Terrence Banks

Posted on 6/10/14 4:52:26 PM Permalink

Let me know if you have any questions concerning the process?