Picasso Artist Study

Pablo Picasso for Children

Study the artwork of a modern artist whose very name has come to mean a masterpiece of art-- "a Picasso."

If your children have been studying more traditional artists, the works of Picasso may be a most welcome change of style.

Dabble into the artistic schools of Cubism and Collage as you reproduce your own Picasso-styled art. It's fun!

I'm going to walk you through a Picasso artist study: share what we did and also share some additional ideas and resources. Pick and choose what works for you.

Smart About Art

We started our Picasso study with this book. (I found it for $.35 at a thrift store!) It's a wonderful introduction to the artist's life and art -- not too much overwhelming detail, but just enough to whet the appetite for the art work that we would study in depth over the next ten weeks. Since Picasso's style changes drastically over the years, this book was a good foundation to hang our study. We understood the Blue Period, the Rose Period, and his development of Cubism.

I highly recommend this book.

Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules (Smart About Art)
Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules (Smart About Art)

This book is a delight to read. It's written as if it were a child's school report. Jam packed with facts and artwork, this book teaches in a truly engaging way.


Choosing Picasso Art to Study

I prefer having a book from which to study art, but if you choose to use online sources, Olga's Gallery is a wonderful place to start. Picasso was a very prolific artist, and because he was famous in his lifetime in this modern era, a great quantity of his work has been documented.

Here are my suggestions to make it a bit easier for you. I've chosen twelve paintings so that you can study one per week for a term, as Charlotte Mason suggested artist study be done. (If you study a few less or more, that's fine. The object is to focus on one artist for an extended period of time.)

If you need help with the regular art study lessons, visit Artist Study Charlotte Mason Style for the basic how-tos. Basically, the child studies the piece of art for a few minutes and then orally narrates it back, telling what he saw.

For a well done biography of Picasso (and Matisse), download this PDF resource guide.

And be sure to visit the Museum of Modern Art where you can listen to an audio clip about Picasso's sculpture Guitar. It's made especially for children, so it's safe!

Our Picasso Spine

Picasso, Pablo: A Modern Master (Great Masters)
Picasso, Pablo: A Modern Master (Great Masters)

I found this in a used book store for $6. I thought it was well worth the price for an oversized hardback book full of color prints! Find a spine that has the largest and most full color prints of Picasso's art.


Picasso and Kids

Picasso loved to paint the female form! And when studying art with children, that can cause some problems. How do you handle the nudity in Picasso's art?

If you'd like to read more about this touchy topic, the Art Institute of Chicago has published a very well done PDF titled Body Language: How to Talk to Students about Nudity in Art. It includes some example works of art and various ages at which they may be suitable.

Which best describes how you handle nudity in Picasso's art?

See results without voting

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."

-- by Picasso

Make Your Own Picasso

The work of Gordon Magnin is very cubist. Check out how he modifies magazine pages into cubist art. Note -- view this with your children away from the computer. Not all images are suitable for children (some are a bit gruesome, many have cleavage). But some of the images will serve as inspiration for your own easy to do cubism.

Here is Sprite's cubist version of a magazine ad:

And here is mine:

For more inspiration, visit Art Projects for Kids. Kathy Barbro is an elementary art teacher with amazing ideas! Here she offers two Picasso inspired art projects with easy directions and an example piece.

For each artist we study, I allow my daughter to choose any piece of art to duplicate as best she can. Here is her choice for Picasso.

Another hands-on idea for a study of Picasso is to create African masks like the ones Picasso was inspired by. Then do some sketches and paintings of the masks you create!

Picasso ATCs

Another Picasso Activity

ATC = Artist Trading Card, a small (2.5" x 3.5") work of art.

We printed out the Picasso thumbnails from the minibook template I made.

Then we used the tiny images for making Picasso inspired ATCs. Here are some examples; some are mine and some are Sprite's.

Making collage ATCs is another way to interact with Picasso's art. As we worked, I heard Sprite say things like, "Oh, I remember we studied this one. I really like the colors."

Picasso also was one of the first artists to use the collage art form, so making collages with his art is appropriate.

Other Picasso Projects - Get Hands-on As You Create Like Picasso

Enjoy these creative ideas for making your own Picasso inspired projects.

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Picasso Artist Study Guestbook 40 comments

ZenandChic profile image

ZenandChic 8 years ago

Wonderful art!

anonymous 7 years ago

Thanks for adding a link to my blog! :-)

Also, as far as the nudity quiz... we don't actually study 1 painting at a time. We study an artist and will read through books and look at lots of paintings. I do purposefully choose books without any nudity, but we also go to art museums and so my daughter does see the nudity. Since since she's a girl, I'm more comfortable with her looking at female nudity than male in art. But, at a museum, you often can't really avoid it!

groovyoldlady profile image

groovyoldlady 7 years ago

I've never been one to focus on particular artists - just art in general. Maybe it's time to expand my boundaries a bit! This a wonderful lens.

The nudity thing is kinda weird. I dress modestly and my girls do as well. We don't believe you have to have to show it off for folks to know you have it. However, In some art, it is tastefully presented and opens doors for discussions on modesty and sexuality and also on the changing views of what is considered beautiful and desirable. I don't seek out nude art to specifically show to my girls, but if it comes up we just talk about it.

evelynsaenz1 profile image

evelynsaenz1 7 years ago from Royalton

We have found that studying art through famous paintings helps us to experiment with different techniques as well as to open our eyes to see things from different perspectives. Picasso is one of our favorite artists to study since his style changed so dramatically throughout his lifetime.

Lensrolled to Starry Starry Night, a unit study based on the famous painting by Van Gogh.

religions7 profile image

religions7 7 years ago

Well done. I think your daughter shows definite talent :)

LilliputStation profile image

LilliputStation 7 years ago

Hmm. Interesting quote there after the discussion of nudity. I wonder if it says anything about Picasso. ;o) Sorry, I guess that's just my twisted sense of humor getting the best of me again. LOL!

Great lens. My daughter read a book on Picasso a couple of years ago and really enjoyed his work. Maybe we ought to do a study of him.

anonymous 7 years ago

Thanks so much for linking me here and for thinking my title was clever!!

Andy-Po profile image

Andy-Po 7 years ago from London, England

I do like Picasso's work; I have a couple of Picassos hanging in the lounge (not real ones unfortunately)

julieannbrady 7 years ago

Ah, Jimmie! What a beautiful work of art -- Picasso is one of my favorite artists and his influence can be seen in a number of art pieces I have of Anthony Falbo. Oh how I wish that this artist study could have been part of my curriculum growing up. Sprite's work looks quite promising!

soha89 7 years ago

great lens...picasso is a great artist and always loved his works :)

plz visit my lens "how to say i luv u in different languages"


anonymous 7 years ago

I was looking for exactly this. Thank you!!

feasibilitytemp 6 years ago

Really it's a nice lens. Here are lot of information about Picasso Artist Study. I think that these are more essential


anonymous 6 years ago

What a fantastic website. Will be sharing your ideas with my students!

WildFacesGallery profile image

WildFacesGallery 6 years ago from Iowa

Despite being an artist I'm rather weak on art history. This is an excellent lens on Picasso. I learned quite a bit. The post-it notes made me chuckle, but a really good idea.

paperfacets profile image

paperfacets 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

Lovely art lens. I just saw American Stories:Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915. This Exhibit was organized by Metropolitan Museum of Art. It included stories that each told about the attitudes of the day. The companion book would be very interesting.

BrianRS profile image

BrianRS 6 years ago from France

Picasso lived and painted in Collioure near to where we live now in the South of France, I hadn't really appreciated how good he was until I started to look a little more closely at his work. Nice lens.

ZablonMukuba profile image

ZablonMukuba 6 years ago

nicely done

primetimesch 6 years ago

Great resource for finding out more about Picasso - thanks for putting this all together, i'm sure it took quite a bit of time to find all this.

anonymous 6 years ago

Pablo Picasso is my favorite artist when it comes to abstract art.

anonymous 6 years ago

Heading to the Picasso exhibit with the family this afternoon and wanted to give the kids a preview of his life and works. Thanks for gathering and sharing some great resources!

John Dyhouse profile image

John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

Picasso is not one of my favourite artists but I do appreciate his skills and what he did for art and artists who followed him. Interesting lens

anonymous 5 years ago

Nice art lens.TASKey.com

sorana lm profile image

sorana lm 5 years ago

Very interesting lens. I love Picasso's art and studying his work is a very enjoyable experience.

LouisaDembul profile image

LouisaDembul 5 years ago

Very good introduction to Picasso, well done!

fargasch 5 years ago

Beautiful lens! Not long ago I bought a poster of "The Dream", which I have yet to frame. Thumbs up!

fantasticallyfi profile image

fantasticallyfi 5 years ago

Inspirational stuff - superb lens!

Philippians468 profile image

Philippians468 5 years ago

great information you've got here about a legendary artist! cheers

james g pete profile image

james g pete 5 years ago

Thanks, thanks and thanks.

lbrummer profile image

lbrummer 5 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

I really like your project using cut up, rearranged and pasted pictures. I may have to try this year in one of my classes.

PainMan1 profile image

PainMan1 5 years ago

Very cool lens! Great job!

anonymous 5 years ago

I am 8 year old and I am learning to draw. I like Picassoâs very much. The Weeping Woman has many shapes â she has a broken glass that looks like a star; a red hat with a blue flower that look like a cube and a triangle; a weird blue tissue, a straight multicoloured hair and a green hand. She looks like a crying woman in a broken mirror. I think I will try to draw a crying boy using this way too.

Close2Art LM profile image

Close2Art LM 5 years ago

I love Picasso's work, influenced a lot by his works...

OldStones LM profile image

OldStones LM 5 years ago

Picasso is a favorite of mine. Great lesson ideas.

anonymous 5 years ago

Thank you! I'm homeschooling my daughter and these ideas are fantastic to keep learning fun. Much appreciated!

iijuan12 profile image

iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

I'm going to try to do one of your art lessons each week this summer. You have put together fabulous lenses that are so helpful! Thank you!!!

Mark Shearman profile image

Mark Shearman 4 years ago from Alicante Spain

What a great lens I really enjoyed reading, thanks!

Ladylinchpin 4 years ago

Often used Picasso's cubist and blue periods in our classroom. The shape aspect of the cubist work always intrigued as well as the monochromatic blue palette. Bravo on this useful lens!

MisterJeremy profile image

MisterJeremy 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

We have the Picasso book that you use as a spine. It's good. My 5-year-old looked at it the other day and said, "Dad, this girl is weird. She has two mouths."

Aunt-Mollie 3 years ago

I do think that some of Picasso's paintings are confusing for children. His clowns, of course, can be enjoyed at any age. I have a small clown print that I have had FOREVER and kids always comment on it.

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 3 years ago

I love Picasso and I love what you are doing with these kids. This is truly an exceptional lens.

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