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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.
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.)
- Leaning Harlequin
- Le Gourmet
- The Old Guitarist
- In 'Lapin Agile' or Harlequin with a Glass
- Self-Portrait with a Palette
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (This painting does include nudity.)
- Factory in Horta de Ebbo
- Three Musicians
- Violin and Guitar
- Dora Maar
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
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?
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
-- by Picasso
Picasso Printables - Coloring Pages and Notebooking Pages
- Girl in front of Mirror Coloring Page
A coloring Page of Girl in Front of Mirror.
- Self Portrait Coloring Page
A simple outline of one of Picasso's self-portraits.
- Three Musicians Coloring Page
Three Musicians is just one of the coloring pages offered here, but it is the only one by Picasso.
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
A coloring page very close to the original painting.
- Picasso Notebooking Page
This page is a freebie from Homeschool Helper. It features a black and white photograph of Picasso and room for writing.
- Picasso Minibook
This template includes four petal books in a folder and a selection of small thumbnails of Picasso's art. Choose any four for your minibook.
- Picasso Notebooking Pages -- Set
Here is a set of pages I created. It's two basic pages but with some slight variations to create a set of 5 different pages.
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!
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.
- School For Us
Reproductions and a visit to the museum round out this Picasso artist study!
- Picasso Copycat
LaPaz Home Learning approaches some art reproductions in an unschooling style. JBug makes her own version of Pablo Picasso's "Child with a Dove."
- Grant Thomas's Picasso Powerpoint
This short (free downloadable) PPT presentation deals with how African masks inspired Picasso's art.
- Oil Pastel Picasso Faces Art Lesson
From Deep Space Sparkle, the blog of an art teacher.
- Art Attack -- Picasso Faces
Using recycled cardboard packaging, make a 3D cubist face sculpture.
- A is for Anteater -- Picasso Goes Olympic
This blogger share her children's delightful, Picasso inspired portraits.
- Picasso Style 3D Papercraft
A Picasso-inspired toy to print and assemble.
- Picasso Sculptures from Art With Mrs. Smith
Cubism goes three-dimensional with these recycled crafts.
- Adventures in Mama-Land
A drawing and craft idea suitable for young children studying Picasso.
- Confessions of a Homeschooler
A fantastic photo tour of Erica's children's Picasso study. PLUS she offers some great lesson plan ideas for FREE!
- Picasso Inspired Collages at Practical Pages
A great Cubism activity with clear directions.
- Picasso's Portraits at Practical Pages
Nadene explains how she dealt with her daughters' distaste of Picasso's work and the fun collage portraits they constructed.