This. Is Cubism at its finest. I haven’t done many projects based on historical artists, so maybe that is something I should focus on a little more with future projects.
There’s something wonderful about kids focusing on a specific artist’s style and then replicating that feel/technique. Any time a kid can possibly absorb some history while they are doing art is powerful.
I found this project in the book Paint it! by Kathy Durkin, and had to try it. Not even because it was inspired by Picasso’s Cubist style, but because it was such a cool technique.
Essentially, you combine 3 views of your face into one and voila! Cubism.
Photograph your subject 3 times: face-forward, side view and 3/4 view. Print each view out.
Take a piece of tracing paper and lay it in turn over each print out, tracing over the most prominent lines from each view.
Flip the tracing paper over and lay it on top of your watercolor paper. Press hard with your pencil while tracing over the lines. This will transfer them onto the watercolor paper. You can erase whichever bits of lines you aren’t fond of.
Go over the pencil lines with your black Sharpie and prepare to paint.
We used watercolors, and didn’t fill in the entire face. It makes for a striking finished product to leave white areas within the face. The bits of color act as highlights to whichever parts you want to, well, highlight.
Our background was painted and lifted with paper towel wads to give it a little bit of texture.
For more cool painting projects for kids, see my Pinterest painting projects for kids board.
7 thoughts on “Picasso Self-Portrait Project”
I love this project! Totally pinned it…:)
Totally thanks, Tammy!
Thanks for detailing your technique! It is actually easier than it looks from the finished masterpiece!
What a wonderful way for children to learn about Cubism and Picasso while exploring the concept of self. I really like how you used photography and tracing paper and then painted only parts of the face. What a nice finished work of art!
I love what you can do with tracing paper. And by you, I mean you, not a generalized person.
I love this project. Plus, tracing paper is heaven sent for those of us with no drawing skills.
Ooooh, I love this! I’m a sucker for watercolor. And Picasso.