A time honored way (used by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Chuck Close) to make a small image larger is by using a grid.
It is also useful in making a collaborative mural while being socially distanced because each student can take a small section of the whole composition.
Photographer Alex Wang (on Instagram @alcidalex) gave me permission to use one of his beautiful Palila photos as reference for our CLA mural project. The photo we are using is of a female palila in a mamane tree (sophora chrysophylla) which is a main food source.
I divided the photo I printed into 15 square sections and numbered them. I also numbered the back of each of the 12" x 12" gessoed boards. Then I taped each of the photo sections onto the boards. After the students pick up their paint packs and boards, we will work on enlarging each of their small photos onto their boards when we meet through Google Classroom.
One mistake I made was to label the numbers on the photograph from left to right. Because it is upside down, start with one on the right. It was no big deal, I just had a bit of a brain melt, rearranged the photo squares, and re-labeled them correctly. So think backwards when you try this. Or use GRID#, a free app!
The finished mural will be 3' x 5'. After being exhibited in Maui in spring 2021 it will be on display at the campus of Christian Liberty Academy.
Check out this video to see in detail how enlarging with a grid is done: