Cubist Portraits

Cubist artists turned organic shapes into geometric ones and used arbitrary colors! This is Picasso's self-portrait.


You might be asking yourself "What is cubism?" but I bet you will recognize the name of a very famous cubist artist: Picasso. We will be turning our portraits into cubist works of art today!


You need:

A student work

Here's what you do:

1. Place your earlier portrait face-up on your desk.
2. Place your blank paper on top of it.
3. Take it to a bright window or light box so you can see the portrait through the blank paper.
4. Draw the portrait again using only straight lines. Where there is a curved line, draw only straight lines, staying on the curve as much as you can (but don't be afraid to make points -- the idea is to distort the picture, remember?)
5. Draw all facial features using only geometric shapes, but try to stay close to the original shape of the features as you can. Use triangles, squares, and diamonds to make eyes, noses, mouths, etc..
6. Donít forget the hair -- try to keep the original shape, for the most part, using only geometric shapes.
7. When you have the face drawn, go back to your desk. Divide the face up into planes using a straightedge to draw lines separating areas of the face. If you are confused, ask for help -- this step sounds tricky, but there really is no wrong way to do it.
8. Extend some lines out to the edge of the paper to break the background up into planes, as well.
9. Color the shapes that make up the face, hair, and body using spectrum colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). Color the background using black and white.

Another example.

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