Picasso has to be one of the most influential and well known artists of all time. Kids tend to gravitate to his art because it’s different and ‘weird’ as one of my young students pointed out and they feel that they can create their own Picasso inspired art work quite successfully.
This art lesson was inspired by another lesson I saw somewhere online or in a magazine and I feel absolutely awful that I can’t remember where… Has this ever happened to you? Apologies to the author and a big hug for the inspiration! Anyway, I always say it’s ok to copy as long as you change it and make it your own so that is exactly what I have done with this lesson. Everyone will be a HUGE fan of Pablo Picasso by the end of your lesson.
Before you introduce our artist to your students, I suggest you Google ‘Picasso’ and build up a whole visual feast for the kids to see and get inspired from. YouTube has a ton of stuff so go there to find some great movie slideshows and documentaries. If you have some time, why not make one of your own? When you Google ‘Picasso ‘ click on the images tab and you will literally be a click away from thousands of images you can use to create your own stunning slideshow or video adapting it to your needs. For this lesson, focus on art work that show his unique way to portray the human face. Take a look at this clever video to see all the many faces of Picasso.
If you prefer using books as your intros, there is a great series called Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists with cute books on a variety of artists. My students really enjoy these books because there are comics, cute little jokes and stories about the artist. This is what the book looks like:
Before showing and reading anything to your students, ask how many have heard of the name Picasso before. Ask them what they know, have they seen any artwork by him, where, do they know his full name, etc. Ask if anyone knows the meaning of the word abstract and have a bit of fun with this. This would be a good time to show your slideshow, book or the video link from above.
Then go ahead and explain that everyone will make their own Picasso inspired face using colored construction paper and paint for the final details.
Give everyone a 12x 18 colored paper for the background plus some white and black scrap paper.
Give each student two 9×12 pieces of construction paper –they should choose two very different colors- the brighter the better.
Have your students draw an oval on one of the papers. Place the other color under it and cut both papers at the same time.
Next, have your kids choose one color to draw a profile down the middle including the nose and chin. You might need to show them how to do this on the board. Your students should cut it out, glue this over the 12×18 background paper and add a neck with the remaining scrap paper.
From the white scrap paper, cut out one circle and one cone shape which will be the two eyes. The round eye will be the forward looking eye and the cone shape will be the profile view of the other eye. The black paper is for the pupils.
Have the students ‘figure’ out where each eye should be glued. Hint: the profile view of the eye goes on the paper with the nose. Some kids were a little confused so review profile and frontal view and demonstrate how different the eyes look. Since this is Picasso though–it doesn’t really matter where they put it since this is abstract art right? Extra paper is for a closed mouth, big lips, open mouth, etc.. Let your kids go crazy here. They can add hair by cutting up or crimping the rest of the paper.
The background looks really nice with some painted lines, dots, zig-zags or anything else your students can come up with. I adore oil pastels so I would even add some designs over the dry paint, necklaces, etc..
Aren’t these so gorgeous? Betcha Picasso would love them. What do you think?
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