Children around the world have been inspired to create Pablo Picasso art projects in their schools, homes, and other art-friendly settings. Pablo Picasso was a multi-faceted artist who excelled at many different styles. He created art using materials and techniques ranging from line drawings to ceramics, sculptures to Cubism. Because of this, and because of his nearly universal popularity, the possibilities for Picasso art projects for kids are endless.
You have no doubt seen a lot of the Picasso art projects, repeatedly, on the web. Don’t worry. I’m not going to repeat them in this post. Instead, I’ll share some of my own ideas and projects. These are Pablo Picasso art projects for kids that your kids will love—be they students, at school, or children at home.
How do I know they’ll love them? I know because my students and even my own child love them. These have all been tested and tried by yours truly and by my students.
My students give them a big thumbs up!
Many of the projects I create and share are designed to help classroom teachers integrate art into their lessons. Art teachers and, of course, parents also find them helpful. Besides sharing my experience and expertise in art education, I also hope that using one of my resources or trying one of my ideas will save you something that is so precious these days…time!
My Picasso art project ideas are the perfect complement to a lesson on art styles, a Picasso biography, the importance of being original, taking risks…The list goes on and on!
My activities can also stand on their own, as art projects. There’s a lot to be said for that. In fact, Picasso himself said, “Art, washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Sounds like a worthwhile pursuit to me. I hope you think so, too! Let’s dive into some fun and easy Pablo Picasso Art Projects.
Pablo Picasso, a Spaniard, came early to art. According to his mother, his first word was “piz,” his way of saying “lapiz,” the Spanish word for pencil. By age 9, he completed his first painting, Le Picador, a man on a horse at a bullfight.
He went to art school at 13 and, by age 16, had gained entrance to the top art school in Spain. But like many artists, the formal rigors of school didn’t suit him. Pablo Picasso preferred to learn from other artists and from life. After experimenting with various forms, he and another artist invented Cubism.
Cubism is a form of painting that features simple geometric shapes. In Cubism, the subject matter seems to be “broken up” or “shattered.” Cubist artworks look like they are from multiple viewpoints instead of just one. Some consider this kind of abstraction the most influential art movement of the 20th century.
Picasso became quite famous while still alive—an unusual feat for an artist. He produced a whopping 50,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, tapestries, and rugs. He also wrote plays and poetry.
Picasso died at the age of 91 in 1973. He left a legacy of artwork that will inspire generations to come. 1973. That was quite some time ago. Yet, given his popularity, it would seem Picasso was still living today.
#1. Portrait Collaboration Poster
Picasso made art of, and for, others. In this project, your students get to make art of Picasso himself. Using my Picasso collaborative poster, children get to work individually (or with partners) to complete a portion of the larger image. Then as a group, you can assemble the pieces to reveal the final portrait of Picasso.
Students work by themselves to complete their pieces of the puzzle and then in groups to put the pieces together to form the whole portrait. Children are always amazed to see where their piece fits into the overall image, and the message to them is clear. As an individual, they matter—without their piece, there would be a void. They are essential!
Pablo Picasso Collaborative Poster HERE.
You could take it a step further and do one of my Famous Faces of Art History collaboration posters that includes Pablo Picasso as well as many other artists. See it HERE.
#2. Meet the Master Artist, Pablo Picasso
Art History—it’s an important part of teaching children about art. It’s also an important part of teaching children about history—It’s hard to break art and history apart.
Early in his career, Picasso lost a good friend and started making art with all shades of blue. He did this to express his sadness. Later this became known as his “blue period.” In my Picasso art project, “Meet the Master Artist: Pablo Picasso,” children get to first “meet” Picasso (learn about him). Then, they get to make art inspired by him and his “blue period” by making self-portraits in shades of blue.
For this activity, students get two pages that have to be cut out and glued together. The top page has a portrait of Pablo Picasso that I drew and a biography that I wrote. This top page gets glued to the second page with room for children to work on their “blue period” portrait activity.
This project includes many variations. I offer options ranging from a coloring page (on page two) to a blank biography page (on page one). This wide range of options allows you to differentiate among your students and use this activity with many different grade levels.
Meet the Master Artist: Pablo Picasso HERE.
#3. The Tragedy Collaboration Poster
Picasso painted The Tragedy in 1903, during his “blue period.” This art activity is intended to complement any lessons or activities you are doing with Pablo Picasso or his “blue period.” This collaborative poster is a unique way to experience Picasso’s work from an artist’s point of view!
This poster is easy, fun, and unique. Each student is given one page of the poster to color using a monochromatic color scheme. Once all sheets are colored and cut out, they are then assembled to reveal a large collaboration mosaic/poster/mural of Pablo Picasso’s, The Tragedy. With this poster, students will get a chance to emulate Picasso’s monochromatic color scheme as they color the pages in shades of blue.
To get a wide range of blues, I recommend that you give your students blue crayons, colored pencils, and markers. Using all three mediums will help your student to get as many shades of blue as they can, making the final poster dynamic!
The final poster makes a great classroom focal point and a lasting example of collaboration for your students—not to mention that it makes a thought-provoking display for your door, bulletin board, or hallway.
This artwork tells a story and provokes emotions. That is why I have included writing pages to give time for students to reflect on this artwork after they’ve seen the final product.
The Tragedy Collaborative Poster HERE.
One of the greatest (and easiest) ways to engage children with art projects is to pair your lessons with books! There are so many Picasso books that I love to use with my students. Disclosure: Any links that go to Amazon are affiliate links. That means I get a small (very small) amount in return for taking you there. I appreciate your support in this way. To see my full disclosure click HERE.
I love kid books about artists, but more importantly, my students love these books.
Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly books about Picasso and art project ideas to go with them! I can come up with ideas much faster than I can ever execute them (I’m sure you can relate). So, even though I have done all the lessons in this post (up until this point), the ideas I am about to suggest for the books are NOT lessons I have tried. They are lessons I want to try. If over time, I do them, I will report back with more details.
For now, they are ideas you can run with if you want to! In a few instances, I have linked to some other websites where I think teachers have come up with a great idea to go with these books.
You’ll love the books no matter what Pablo Picasso art project you are teaching. All these books are sure to fit perfectly with your lesson.
Art Alphabet Legends
Alphabet legend books are Ah-Mazing. I have them for art, sports, and lefties (my daughter is left-handed). You can’t go wrong with these books. They are beautiful to start with, and they give you just the right amount of information to introduce many important people!
Project Idea: Have your students write their own list from A-Z inspired by Legends Alphabet books. They could write and draw about 26 things that define them—such as an autobiography. A for Ambitious, B for Brave, etc.
When Pigasso met Mootisse
This book is so much fun. Mootisse is a bull, and Pigasso is…yep, you guessed it, a pig.
Project Idea: Have your students think of another animal, pair it with an artist, and write the sequel to When Pigasso Met Mootisse. It would be called, “When Pigasso met _________.”
You could give the kids one idea (that you come up with) and let them work to create this new character that Pigasso could meet. Or you could let the children all try to come up with their own—maybe working in small groups.
I also like the idea these art teachers came up with at Jamestown Elementary Art Blog. They had their students create artworks of Pigasso painting Mootisse and Mootisse painting Pigasso—cute!
Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail
After reading this book to your students, show them the images nine pages into the story. The top left is an image of the girl as a pencil drawing, somewhat realistic looking. Then below that, Picasso has started to change the style of her portrait. Then, finally, on the right side, he has completely abstracted her portrait to create a cubist artwork of the girl.
Project Idea: Have your students go through this same process. Depending on the age of your students, pair them up with someone in class. Then have them create three portraits of this person, following the same sequence that Picasso followed. Have them start as realistic as they can, then a combination of realistic and abstract, and finally an abstract portrait of their partner.
100 Pablo Picassos
Picasso made so. much. art. He was prolific. I am sure it was easy for the author of this book, 100 Pablo Picassos, to demonstrate 100 pieces of his art.
Project Idea: Have students create a small artwork inspired by Picasso. Each child could do 1-3 (depending on how many students you have) to get to 100. Some children could work in 2D, and some could work in 3D (depending again on your specific students). The final display could have 100 Pablo Picasso-inspired artworks on display!
This book is all about people telling Picasso he couldn’t do something, like paint all his pictures blue. But he did! And some he painted all pink! The book goes through all the things people thought Picasso could not do, and he did them anyway. It ends with some humor that I’ll leave for the book, so I don’t give it away.
Project Idea: Have your students draw a picture of something someone told them they couldn’t do, and they did anyway. Then have them write about and explain this experience.
Or, have students write about and draw a picture of something they hope to do, to prove someone wrong one day, someone who has told them they can’t do something that they believe they can!
Picasso and Minou & Picasso’s One Liners
Project Idea: After reading these two books to your students, see if they can make a “one-liner” of Minou (the cat). Picasso was famous (was there anything he didn’t do?) for creating an image using only one line. Here is an example.
Read more about artists making one-line artworks HERE.
See if your students can take a more complex image and break it down into just one line. If they do, please share with me. I would love to celebrate their creations with them. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter!
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