Art Appreciation: Pablo Picasso

Art Appreciation: Pablo Picasso

This week we’re looking at the works of Pablo Picasso.  

Step 1: Who?

Let’s begin by looking at Pablo Picasso’s Wikipedia page to get his basic information: PABLO PICASSO’S WIKIPEDIA

Almost everyone has heard of Picasso, so I won’t tell you how to pronounce his name, but if you’re unsure you can find pronunciation information there on his Wiki.  Did you know that his full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso? Whew! That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

Here is a link to a website where you’ll find even more detailed information: PICASSO

Talk about his family life. What interesting facts can you find?

Step 2: Where?

Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain, so look that up on a map.  He moved a bit, so take a look at other places in his life and find them on your map.  Can you find where he died? Think about the changes in his life that would have come with those moves.

Step 3: When?

Look at the years Picasso lived.  Check your timeline to see what was happening in the world during the years he lived. Discuss how those world events might have affected Picasso as a person, and his art.

Step 4: What?

Now let’s look at his work.  You can find many of Picasso’s pieces on his Wikiart Page, so start there.  The pieces are arranged in chronological order, so it’s easy to see the progression of his work through the various stages.

NOTE: There are several nudes in Picasso’s portfolio, so parents may wish to screen this part first, picking out a few representative pieces to show the students.

Picasso’s work is divided into several “periods” including the Blue Period, the Rose Period, and several cubist periods, plus later periods that are more of a mix of styles. His cubist pieces are probably his best known works, so concentrate a bit on those.  They’re the most fun to imitate, so be sure you look at those carefully, discussing how you might achieve the affect. Picasso created some of his pieces as a collage. He was one of the first to do so, so if you want to be like Picasso, you’ve got to try it out.

Step 5: Do!

Now it’s time to try creating a piece in the Picasso style yourselves.  Get some construction paper and glue. Set up a still life, or pick an object.  Cut out the pieces of the paper into random shapes. Assemble them to form the picture.  If this seems too difficult, perhaps you could pick a Picasso piece and try to replicate it. Any way you do it, you can’t go wrong. Just have fun with it!

Step 6: Do More!

One other thing to try is one of Picasso’s line drawings. Picasso famously created these drawings in one line, never lifting his pen.  The effect is cute and clever, and would be a lot of fun for a kid to try. See if you can copy Picasso’s drawings first. Then try to create your own.

Finally, if there’s a museum in your area check to see if they have a Picasso piece in house. If so, make a trip to check it out. The experience is different when you see the full size piece up close.

Step 7: Additional Resources for more ideas:

There are loads of great books and resources for kids about Picasso, so here are a few to get you started:

Who Was Pablo Picasso? by True Kelley

Picasso Loves Shapes by Judiee Lee

Draw With Pablo Picasso Paperback by Ana Salvador

The Three Musicians: A Children’s Book Inspired by Pablo Picasso by Veronique Massenot and Vanessa Hie

Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail (Anholt’s Artists Books For Children) by Laurence Anholt



Let me know if you use it or tell me all about your Picasso Art experience by leaving me a comments here or on our Facebook page. The links are at the right. >>>


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