Grade: Middle
Subject: Art

#2021. Cubism Portraits (working with Picasso)

Art, level: Middle
Posted Tue Nov 21 11:00:39 PST 2000 by Warren Utsler (
Pioneer Ridge Sixth Grade Center, Independence, Mo. USA
Materials Required: 9" 18" construction paper Pencil and eraser Sharpie markers Colored pencils
Activity Time: 2 - 50 minute class periods
Concepts Taught: Creating a portrait using the Cubists approach.

Unit: Cubism Portraits (working with Picasso)

Lesson: Creating a portrait using the Cubists approach.

Strand: Criticism/ Analysis 2

1. Recognize major figures and works and understand their significance. (Picasso)
Stand: History 2
1 Identify and categorize artists, movements, and art forms found in the United States and other cultures.

Setup/ Background:
Introduce students to the Spanish artist, Pablo Picaso. Discuss with the students the many different styles and challenges Picasso faced throughout his life and how it effected his work. I.e. After the death of his best friend, Picasso then began his popular "blue period."
Refer to the Getting to know the world's Greatest Artists for any supplemental information that would help introduce Picasso and his Cubist approach.

1. Using a pencil, draw an organic or geometric shape, filling three fourths of the page.
2. Understanding that Picasso drew from multiple vantagepoints draw a profile down the center of the shape. Noting the brow line, nose, lips, and chin.
3. To add interest and ensure that the drawing resembles the style of a cubist, add details and different views of specific parts of the face. i.e. possibly draw a profile of the eye on one portion of the face, and a straight on view on the other.
4. Be sure to use creativity in adding hair, hats, glasses, or clothing to fill the remiaining space.
5. To tie the portrait drawing together, go over the pencil lines with a black wide permanent marker using only smooth, solid continuous lines.
6. Complete the portrait drawing by shading in each area with colored pencils and erase any pencil lines that might be showing.


1. Student has created a portrait which resembles the "cubist" style discussed in class.
2. The work demonstrates the use of mulitple views incorporated into a single portrait.
3. Each shape is evenly shaded and the permanent marker lines are smooth and clean.
4. Overall craftsmanship, the student has demonstrated control of the medium.