Saturday, November 3, 2007

Picasso faces Art Lesson for First Grade

What fun the first grade kids at Foothill School had making
Picasso inspired self-portraits

This lesson was a fun substitute to making regular, serious faces. First, the kids looked at pictures of Picasso's portraits (Portrait of Marie-Therese and Portrait of Dora Maar) and studied the shapes and patterns Picasso used. They loved Picasso's way of drawing the facial features.
Then, following a directed-art lesson, the kids drew a head shape, neck, body and hair with a black oil pastel on white construction paper. Using colorful tempera paints, the children painted the different sections of their portraits, making sure they used two colors for their face.

When the face dried, they cut around the black line and glued their faces onto colorful pieces of paper.

The next lesson involved making different eye and mouth shapes. I gave each child a scrap piece of white paper and showed them how to make Picasso-style eyes and mouths. They drew their own, and colored them in with oil pastels, cut them out and pasted them onto their face.
They were encouraged not to put the features in the regular spots!

The last step was to add eyelashes and glaze the entire paper with mod-Podge.

For more Portrait lesson ideas for this and other grade levels, check out Deep Space Sparkle's "Fun with Portraits" PDF booklet. Click here for details.


Anonymous said...

I am loving your site. There are so many unique and sucessful lessons here!I see that you use so much paint with your kids which I think is wonderful. I would love to paint more in my class but I need some tips. It just seems like every lesson I do with paint except sponging and watercolor doesn't really turn out great results. I just wondered if you could share any tips on how I could have better luck.I would also love to know any tips you have for how you go about setting up a painting lesson ie do you give them all palettes of paint and mixing trays?? or do you put cups of paint on the tables to share? Do you allow younger kids to mix their own colors? What is your secret? I just find painting days so stressful. My email Thanks

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Sara,
Thanks for asking such great questions. I know you're not alone in your struggles. This got me thinking that I should do a post on addressing these and similar questions...stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

I have found the styrofaom dozen egg cartons-with the lid works best for painting in school and other applications. I'm an art teacher turned homeschool mom and somtimes teach art in co-ops where clean up time is short.I carry a large plastic trash bag with me,close the lids on the egg cartons and toss them in or stack them in if I need to reuse them. I save the egg cartons all year plus ask others to save them.I also use small platic butter/cream cheese containers with a hole cut in the lids for water. Use tall kitchen trash bags for smocks by cutting arms and neck out. Often I limit my students paint colors to keep them from getting muddy by not giving them black or brown or giving these in small amounts and direct students to use them in only certain situations.This keeps the painting brighter.

Patty Palmer said...

Oh, these are GREAT tips! I love the egg cartons idea with the lids attached. I often use egg cartons but always tear off the lid. Not anymore. Also, the plastic containers with the cut out in the lid is brilliant...prevents many drips and accidents I imagine.
Thanks for visiting and good luck with homeschooling.

Alli grins said...

Amazing site with great ideas, Patty! You should be proud! I teach Art Masters in my daughter's public school once a month as a parent volunteer and I'm preparing a lesson on the portraits of famous artists. This lesson plan and your wonderful examples are perfect for our guided art project, which we do after I teach the lesson and we look at art samples. I love the bright colors of the Picasso-inspired self portraits. Thank you so much for sharing! For a fun activity on the computer, go to, where kids can create their own "Picasso-heads."

Sarah said...

Thank you very much for sharing your artistic skills, this is wonderful and I am definetley going to do this with my 8yo son and 4yo daughter. This is my first sime to your blog, I'll will be back.

Love Sarah

Mary said...

I didn't know quite where to post this thank you, as I have used so many of your wonderful art lessons. I teach art after school in Orange County, California. Your posts have created so many hits in my classes and as a result, are framed and hung in the homes around our community. These are just a few I have used: Royal Bulldogs, Winter Birch Trees, Picasso Face Paintings/Collage, and soon to be "Giraffes Can't Dance." Here is my blog so you can see for yourself:

Thanks again!!


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