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.
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
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.
"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.
Picasso Artist Study Guestbook
Rose Jones on June 30, 2013:
I love Picasso and I love what you are doing with these kids. This is truly an exceptional lens.
Aunt-Mollie on April 17, 2013:
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.
Jeremy from Tokyo, Japan on March 25, 2013:
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."
Ladylinchpin on July 20, 2012:
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!
Mark Shearman from Alicante Spain on June 14, 2012:
What a great lens I really enjoyed reading, thanks!
Shannon from Florida on May 05, 2012:
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!!!
anonymous on December 29, 2011:
Thank you! I'm homeschooling my daughter and these ideas are fantastic to keep learning fun. Much appreciated!
OldStones LM on November 01, 2011:
Picasso is a favorite of mine. Great lesson ideas.
Close2Art LM on October 19, 2011:
I love Picasso's work, influenced a lot by his works...
anonymous on October 02, 2011:
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.
PainMan1 on September 24, 2011:
Very cool lens! Great job!
Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on August 22, 2011:
I really like your project using cut up, rearranged and pasted pictures. I may have to try this year in one of my classes.
james g pete on May 22, 2011:
Thanks, thanks and thanks.
Philippians468 on April 14, 2011:
great information you've got here about a legendary artist! cheers
fantasticallyfi on April 11, 2011:
Inspirational stuff - superb lens!
fargasch on March 19, 2011:
Beautiful lens! Not long ago I bought a poster of "The Dream", which I have yet to frame. Thumbs up!
LouisaDembul on March 17, 2011:
Very good introduction to Picasso, well done!
sorana lm on March 11, 2011:
Very interesting lens. I love Picasso's art and studying his work is a very enjoyable experience.
anonymous on February 16, 2011:
Nice art lens.TASKey.com
John Dyhouse from UK on February 15, 2011:
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 on December 10, 2010:
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!
anonymous on November 23, 2010:
Pablo Picasso is my favorite artist when it comes to abstract art.
primetimesch on November 11, 2010:
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.
ZablonMukuba on October 25, 2010:
Brian Stephens from France on October 19, 2010:
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.
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on September 26, 2010:
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.
Mona from Iowa on September 21, 2010:
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.
anonymous on August 04, 2010:
What a fantastic website. Will be sharing your ideas with my students!
feasibilitytemp on March 06, 2010:
Really it's a nice lens. Here are lot of information about Picasso Artist Study. I think that these are more essential
anonymous on October 17, 2009:
I was looking for exactly this. Thank you!!
soha89 on June 13, 2009:
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"
julieannbrady on May 09, 2009:
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!
Andy-Po on May 07, 2009:
I do like Picasso's work; I have a couple of Picassos hanging in the lounge (not real ones unfortunately)
anonymous on February 22, 2009:
Thanks so much for linking me here and for thinking my title was clever!!
LilliputStation on February 20, 2009:
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.
religions7 on February 18, 2009:
Well done. I think your daughter shows definite talent :)
Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on February 03, 2009:
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.
groovyoldlady on January 23, 2009:
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.
anonymous on January 21, 2009:
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!
Patricia on January 20, 2009: