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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Picasso sculptural faces

Created on January 31, 2016 by RuthByrne

A unit on Picasso that tries some drawing, painting and a little wire sculpture!

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Identify the distinctive characteristics of Picasso’s portrait paintings that categorize them as: cubist, distorted space, modern art, Vivid and contrasting colors

Create a sketch that shows its subject from several angles at once.

Use wire hanger and stocking to create a sculptural canvas on which to place cubist inspired facial features and vivid colors and patterns seen in Picasso’s cubist paintings

For the sculpture:
1. Wire hangers
2. Pantyhose knee highs
3. Acrylic white paint, or white tempera with glue mixed in
4. colorful tempera or acrylic (Neon colors made an impact!)
5. Celluclay or florist foam (For the base

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

-Read the Girl with the Ponytail and view picasso portraits (
And take notes on distinctive characteristic: cubist, distorted space, modern art, Vivid and contrasting colors

----Guided portrait:
On 6x4.5 in paper, ask students to first observe the outline of a profile face and “air trace” with their finger and then draw that outline on their paper, no erasing, no pencil pick up, mistakes are ok, just follow along with your pencil without looking at your paper.
Then ask students to imagine walking around the person’s face, seeing all sides, and record the most interesting parts within the outline they drew.

Extension: color portrait with bright patterns in fore and background


--Demonstrate to students how to bend hanger wire on base to create an outline similar to the one in their sketches
--Have students pull stocking over hanger and paint with gesso
--Demonstrate painting sections of the face with color and dividing the sections with black lines (or invert that process)
--Have students choose 2 colors in the same family do complete this task
--Have student choose one contrasting color to add in limited parts of the face.
--Demonstrate techniques for painting eyes, mouth, ear and hair pattern lines (tip of the brush, a dab of water, white inside of black)
--Distribute celluclay for students to sculpt a base for their sculpture, students must bend the end of the hanger flat before pressing it into the clay.
--paint the celluclay with similar or contrasting colors
Student museum:
-Students may name their portraits (suggest including the emotion their portrait is showing (like Picasso's "Woman Weeping") and record the name on a sheet of paper displayed next to their work
-Students circulate the room leaving comments that are *kind *Specific *signed on the title papers.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[5-8] Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures

Pablo Picasso


Color/Value, Emphasis, Line

Acrylic, Drawing, Sculpture