Famous Artists: Picasso

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Famous Artists: Picasso

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Growing up in Europe, my Dad took us to all the great art museums. And although I wish I could say I always appreciated it, I can say that I learned to appreciate art. Not all art mind you, there is still some modern art that I look at & say – my 1 year old could do better.  So when we decided to homeschool, I wanted to make sure to teach my kids to appreciate art from a young age. Learning to appreciate a variety of art is like teaching a child to appreciate that we are all unique and special.
I introduced my kids to Pablo Picasso (from Spain) and his artwork. Goofy (6 ) was ready for the wonderful series Getting to know the World’s Greatest Artists: Picasso. (There are some of them available in video form that are a lot of fun. They present the information, actual artwork, and silly cartoons alongside – educational & fun!). Minnie (3 ) enjoyed Painting with Picasso, and Museum ABC. They both enjoyed When Pigasso met Mootisee – a fun story about two famous artists Picasso & Matisse who were in face in real life friends as the story suggests.

The kids colored in some of Picasso’s works of art from the Modern Art Masterpiece coloring book. Such a clever thing! It is a great way to very gently introduce kids to a variety of famous art.
Picasso Coloring Book
Picasso loved making pictures of clowns. We used the idea in The Usborne Art Treasury to make our own clown collage. We painted the background and then we cut & pasted shapes to make the juggling clown.
Picasso Clown Picture
Picasso went through a time after his friend died when his artwork was not appreciated and he was going hungry. All this was reflected in his paintings and he went through a “blue period” where he painted in shades of blue & mostly sad topics. We made our own “blue” picture.
Picasso's actual art work     Picasso Blue Period
Picasso painted things in new & interesting ways. He was not worried about making things look exactly like they are “suppose” to, but he was able to emote a lot of feelings in his artwork. To make our own unique Picasso (idea from Discovering the World’s Great Artists) we painted a picture of Goofy. Then we cut it up & put it back together in a more creative way.
Goofy Self Portrait (6)Goofy Self-Portrait Project a la Picasso
We use this wonderful program called Child-size Masterpieces to play a memory-type game with famous artwork. The program uses museum quality postcards of famous artwork. The kids match them up first with the exact same picture, then by artists, and eventually by genre. There are I believe 6 books and each adds to the complexity. By the time the kids finish they will be familiar not only with a variety of artwork, artists, and styles, but will be able to match artists to their artwork.
Child-size Masterpieces Memory Game
We use theses FREE Famous Artist Report Form along with whatever artist we are studying.

Finally, there is a really neat puzzle of Guernica I include below in the Picasso Resources. My kids are a little young for a 1000 pieces puzzle, but when they get a little older we will be doing it too! If you’ve never seen Guernica or read about it – you should. I was very disappointed as a young person seeing Mona Lisa for the first time – don’t get me wrong the painting is beautiful, but it was… well… so small! Guernica does not disappoint, it is a HUGE - 12 x 15 feet!! I have gotten to see it on at least two occasions and find it to be very moving. I wont get into the whole back story here…but if you like art or WW2 at all, you should look it up.
Do you have a favorite art resource? I’d love to see it! Leave me a note in the comments section.  And as always, I love comments!!


  1. Great minds think alike, Beth. My son and I did a Picasso-inspired activity that I'm posting on my blog tomorrow. I love that you covered so many of his periods and styles and the book recommendations are great. I'll be checking our library's catalog for those for sure! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

  2. Ooh! That's a great idea to paint a portrait then cut it up and glue it to a sheet!

  3. Oh my, that colouring book sounds great! love all your artwork. Brilliant! I am inspired!

    Thank you for taking part in Kids Get Crafty!


  4. When I was a kid, there was a museum {it's still there, but the exhibit is gone} called Impression 5. There was a Guernica exhibit, and it started out completely dark so you couldn't see it. You used your hands and listened to a recording that described what was going on and followed the painting which was in a 3D format. It was amazing, you would love it!

  5. Jen, I WOULD so love that! HOW COOL! I hope someone does an exhibit like that to help my kids appreciate Guernica & other unique art pieces!! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment =-)

  6. Thanks for sharing all those wonderful resources for kids to explore art and artists. we will definitely have a look at some.

  7. What wonderful activities! I always loved introducing my children to famous artists. You just reminded me to start a Kids' Art Appreciation board on Pinterest. This is my first pin at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-art-projects/

  8. Actually, I meant my first pin at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-art-appreciation/

  9. This is the third post about Picasso I've seen this week. I am now determined to do something with my kids about Picasso. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  10. LOVE this and you will be featured this weekend at The Sunday Showcase - go grab a button!

  11. A complete study on Picasso! Wonderful. We'll be studying him later so I'll come back for more ideas then! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful resources and how you're using them. I love how you cut up your son's portrait and rework the pieces. It works wonderfully!

  12. I am so impressed with everything you've done and thanks for sharing your resources. Great post, and I am pinning it for the future.

  13. I love the way you created your own unique "Picasso"! I featured your post and photo in my Montessori-Inspired Art Appreciation post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/01/26/montessori-inspired-art-appreciation/

  14. Great idea for the art inquiry that we do with our class of five year olds, thanks.