FREE: Simple Picasso Face
An easy way to introduce the works of Pablo Picasso to the classroom.
Easy Peasy Level:
Abstract portraits are a great way to increase confidence in art making because the object is not to produce a realistic image. Using simple shapes and loads of colour, these portraits will create a colourful display in your classroom.
You will need:
- White paper
- Lead pencil
- Black marker
- Oil pastels
- Table cover or newspaper to protect your work area.
Easy Peasy Tips:
- Don’t forget to use a key grip when holding the soft pastel. If you hold them like a pencil you will smudge your work.
- As you draw lines with pastels, remember to turn them every so often to keep a thin line.
- Keep your shapes large and simple, avoid intricate details that are hard to colour with oil pastels.
For The Teacher:
- Show your class abstract portraits created by Pablo Picasso. Discuss how he uses shapes and colours to represent faces. Think of it as a 3D face that has been squashed flat.
- As a class, make a checklist of all the elements of a face that students will need to include on their artwork such as eyes, nose, mouth etc.
Creating Your Artwork:
Place your paper portrait style.
- Drawing: On a scrap piece of paper, practise drawing shapes that you may like to use for the head. Think of unusual shapes that look unlike a normal shaped head. Once you have chosen a shape, use a black marker to draw it on your paper. Try and make it take up most of the page.
- Add two different shapes with details for eyes; they don’t need to be in their regular places.
- Add other facial features by using simple geometric shapes and lines. Don’t forget to add a neck.
- Add some hair to fill in the rest of the space. Here we have used rectangular shapes.
- Begin colouring the face and neck with oil pastel. The trick here is to colour each shape using two shades, a light and a dark.
- Repeat the colouring process with the other shapes, remembering to blend two shades within each shape. Use bright colours that will grab attention.
- Blend a dark and light shade to complete the background. Here we have used dark green and light green. Try to use a colour that you have not used on the face to make the face stand out. Your artwork is now complete.
What do you like about your artwork? What would you do differently next time?
- Rather than using white paper begin on coloured paper of your choice for a different effect.
- For the nose, or another facial feature, use the first letter of your name in block writing. This adds a clue to the identity of the artist.
- To make it easier, after completing the face paint over with a vegetable dye wash to complete the background.
- This artwork can be completed in any medium.
- See our other examples of abstract faces for further ideas.