This is one of my favourite portrait lessons to teach to elementary aged kids.
I start off my showing a slideshow of Pablo Picasso's 'blue period'. The Blue Period of Picasso is the period between 1900 and 1904, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. This was the period of his artistic development when he first moved to Paris and was struggling both financially and had many personal tragedies with his friends.
We discuss the subjects of his paintings as well as his colour choices and how they affect the emotions felt in the paintings.
|"The Tragedy", 1903|
I start off with a basic portrait drawing lesson and show the kids how to add emotions by essentially altering both the mouth and the eyebrows of the face. I have them think of something that made/makes them sad to help inspire them. They draw these on heavy white paper and then painted them using cool colours in watercolour.
Once they were finished I had them come up to see me one at a time, and they told me what inspired their painting. I typed it as they spoke and then printed out the sentences, cut them into strips and glued them onto the bottom of their artwork.