Picasso Tinted and Shaded Self-Portrait

Tinted+Face.JPGPablo Picasso’s Blue Period, in which he painted only blue paintings of sad subject matter, is a good example of how an artist used color to reflect his feelings. Ask children to think of the different feelings associated with colors before they choose the main color for their self portrait.
1. Students draw a simple self-portrait with pencil on a heavy piece of paper. It’s a good time to review the basic proportions of the face (eyes in middle of oval, nose halfway down, etc.) They trace the pencil lines with a black Sharpie marker.
2. Students choose one main color – red, blue, green or yellow are good.  Distribute this paint on a paper plate with a little black and white. Students can mix many variations of the main color by adding a little of each color together on the plates.
3. Students fill in each area of their drawing with a different color of paint. If some paint is watered down enough, they can paint over the black lines.
4. The entire face and background is painted and let dry. When complete, black lines may be traced again to make them stand out.

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I love this project! I linked it to poetry writing and “My Many Coloured Days” by Dr Seuss. The students wrote a poem inspired by any colour and emotion they chose, and then did a self portrait in the style above using that colour. Every piece of art turned out amazingly – did it with my 3rd graders last year and will be doing it with my 6th graders this year! Excellent idea, thanks!

  2. Sabii Wabii

    Want to share a project that seems to work very well for K and up…

  3. Lori

    thanks so much! will do!


    I’d love for you to use any of these ideas! I’m really not trying to “own” any of them, just pass on what has worked for me. Please post my blog and let me know how things go if you have a chance. Thanks!!

  5. Lori

    Hi! I found your blog on Google, and I just wanted to touch base. I run a camp art program, and I’m always looking for appropriate group projects, and you have wonderful ideas for us! I’d love to add a link to your blog on my blog, but I wanted to get your okay first. I also might want to feature a project or two of yours, but again, I wouldn’t want to do this without your okay.

    Thanks so much! And good luck to you:)

    My craft blog is: campartlady.blogspot.com

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.