Art is the way we record our different realities, and different art movements evolved because artists wanted to share different ways of looking or thinking about the world. For Cubists like Picasso and Georges Braque, objects and people are seen from multiple and varying points of view. To achieve this, Cubist art uses objects that are broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form to construct an image from numerous viewpoints.
For this activity, get in the spirit of Cubism and follow in Pablo Picasso's footprints by having your child create her own Cubist montage. All you need are some photographs, a copier, scissors, and glue, and your kid will be well on her way to understanding the vibrant art of Cubism!
What You Do:
- Before you begin, take a look at Cubist paintings online or in the library and notice the way the features in the paintings are formed from a mixture of various angles. Some famous Cubist artists to reference might be Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Cezanne, and Juan Gris.
- Gather a variety of photographs from various sources. For this project, you will need to have photos of facial profiles, three-quarter views, and front views.
- Make several copies of each view.
- Use the scissors to cut out parts of the images such as their lips, eyes, noses, chins, and necks.
- Lay out your portrait. Draw an outline for the face, and arrange your cut-out features from different viewpoints within it. Cubist art is a little like putting an Egyptian frieze and a Renaissance portrait into a blender, so be sure to mix styles as well as points of view in your montage.
- When the features have been laid out, glue the pieces onto the paper background.
- Color or paint the features and pieces. You may want to look at the color schemes of various Cubist works to get a feel for how you want to shade your work.
- When you're finished coloring, use the bristle brush to carefully varnish your montage.
When the varnish has dried, your kid will then have a cool and funky abstract portrait to show off!
Did you know?
- Cubism is the art of seeing different views of the same person.
- One of the founders of the Cubist movement was Pablo Picasso. His Cubist paintings of people looked like they were made of pieces leftover from a feature stew.
- The features in Picasso's Cubist portraits have been taken from different views of the same person as if all the dimensions were squashed on top of each other. One way to create or look at an object as a Cubist painter would be to imagine that you are someone from a fourth dimension, seeing all possible angles in the same plane all at once.
Marik Berghs is graphic designer with 30 years of experience. She also illustrates and writes childrens' literature. Jessica McBrayer is her daughter and is a professional crafter.