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Picasso Blue Period Painting

This Picasso project for kids will show how easy it is to change the mood of a drawing. Lots of cool colors and looking away from the viewer are themes Picasso liked to use during his Blue Period.

Picasso project for kids
A Picasso project for kids, painting a Blue period portrait

The Blue Period is a term used to define the works produced by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso between 1901 and 1904 when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These somber works, inspired by Spain and painted in Barcelona and Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.

For students that are familiar with how to draw themselves straight on, looking directly at the viewer, this is a little twist that gives very different results. By moving the eyes to one side, and making them cast downward, a much more somber look is produced. After that, students just need to customize the hair to make this portrait drawing look more like themselves.

Lastly, limiting the color palette at the end to just blues and greens will show students the power of color on a painting. This time around, it’s not about using their personal color of hair or skin, but more about choosing specific colors to add to the mood.

Picasso project for kids
Preview of the step by step Blue Period portrait tutorial

MATERIALS

DIRECTIONS

Time needed: 1 hour.

Blue Period Self Portrait

  1. Start with an oval with a flat side.

  2. Add a nose.

  3. Start the two eyes, one a bit larger than the other.

  4. Add the irises, eyebrows and lips.

  5. Draw your own hairline and an ear.

  6. Add the neck and shoulders.

  7. Draw your own hairline around the head.

  8. Trace with a marker and paint with watercolors.

  9. Add more paint for shadows.

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