Master Pieces: Picasso Collage

Article excerpt


* Oil pastels (24 set)

* Dark construction paper (12"x 18"), one per student

* Geometric shapes of construction paper, various sizes and colors, five per student

* White glue or glue stick, one per student

* Scissors, one per student


The students will learn about ...

* Picasso, a famous 20th-century artist, and his Cubist portraits.

* finding similarities and differences found in several works of art.

* blending, using oil pastels.

Pablo Picasso is often described as the most famous artist of the 20th century. I wanted to introduce my K/1 class to Picasso in a way that would be fun and simple, yet artistically meaningful.

Our one-hour Picasso lesson began by viewing reproductions of some of his work. We discussed several of his Cubist-style portraits found in Taschen's posterbooks, postcards and other sources (see references list at end of story). I began by showing the children the more "normal" portraits and progressed to the more unique images.

The students were surprised by the way Picasso painted portraits by combining several different perspectives of his subject. They enjoyed discovering various "strange" elements of Picasso's portraits. When we considered the eyes of a subject, we found that one eye was often bigger than the other, they were often different colors, they were not horizontally placed and that sometimes they had eyelashes.

Then we examined the noses and discovered that they were usually painted in profile while the rest of the face was painted in frontal view. Also, they were often L-shaped, with both nostrils located on one side of the nose. We found that the mouth was usually placed in an unusual location and sometimes formed simply by two horizontal lines.

We also noted the C-shape of the ears, the simple strands of hair and the geometric shapes used to create some of his portraits. Each student contributed something to the discussion as we examined Picasso's artwork.

I then demonstrated how we would create our Picasso-inspired collage. Each student would start with five geometric-shaped pieces of construction paper. First, we would enrich the color of the construction paper by rubbing it with the side of an oil pastel. Next, the students would draw one facial feature on each piece of paper. Then they would arrange and glue their Picasso-collage onto a large background. Last, they would draw strands of hair to complete their image. After the demonstration, the children were confident and excited to start on their own collage.

I had prepared lots of geometric pieces of construction paper before the lesson began: differing sizes of triangles, squares and rectangles in a variety of colors. …