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How to Draw a Picasso Style Still Life

Artists of Any Age Can Make This Cool Art!

Over 20 THOUSAND artists have watched and loved our Picasso Portrait video!🤩 So to celebrate 🥳, we're going to draw a Picasso Still Life with Oil Pastels for this Found Object Friday!


About the Artist: Pablo Picasso

If you love art, you've probably heard of Pablo Picasso before! Pablo Picasso is a famous Spanish artist who live d from 1881 to 1973 and loved painting, sculpting, writing, and more. He's best known using the art style cubism, which is when a painting is made up of a bunch of geometric shapes rather than looking super realistic. It combines a lot of different perspectives in the painting. Much of the subjects are asymmetrical, which means it's not symmetrical, or not balanced. He's one of the most famous abstract painters of his time. Today, we're going to learn to draw in Pablo Picasso's cubist style to draw a still life!


What You'll Need

- Sheet of white paper (card stock or watercolor paper is ideal)

- Masking tape, for the frame

- Oil pastels


First, let's use masking tape around the edges of our paper so that way, at the end of our project, we can take the tape off and our art will have a border, like a frame. Beautiful!


Step 1: Gather Your Props

Today, we'll be drawing a still life. A still life is when you have props and you're drawing exactly what you see in front of you! We have a whole series on YouTube called Found Object Friday where we go around the house and find objects we want to draw in our still life. In Kim's house and for this lesson, we're going to draw the props we see in the video. Picasso loved to paint musical instruments, so we found a few in our house. We grabbed:

  • A ukulele

  • A cooking pot

  • A pitcher

If you want to challenge yourself, find your own props at home and draw those in Picasso's style!


Step 2: Build Your Composition

To draw our drawing, first we're going to draw the shapes on the table, then draw the table, shading and details, and fill everything in. So first, we have to decide on the composition of your drawing, which means figuring out where everything will be on the page and how big everything is. We want our drawing to take up most of the page, so make sure you draw your objects BIG to fill in all of the space!


Let's start drawing with one item at a time - in our example, the ukulele. Take a black pastel to draw the most important parts of the guitar. PRO TIP: when shapes seem complicated, it helps to break them down into smaller shapes. For instance, the bottom of the guitar kind of looks like an "8" shape, and the neck is a rectangle!


First, pick where you're going to draw your guitar. Using your black pastel, draw the "8" shape to draw the bottom of the guitar. Then, draw the circle inside the guitar and a box on the bottom where the strings connect. Now, let's draw the neck of the guitar- it's a tall rectangle with a square at the top. If you want to add the strings, you can. Then, draw the ovals at the top for the knobs that tighten the strings. Lastly, let's draw the edge on one side of the guitar!


Step 3: Add Your Subjects

Let's keep going with the outlines of our subjects. Next, we're going to draw the water pitcher. Using our black oil pastel, start with the top by drawing an oval and double it. Draw a little notch at the top (where the water comes out) and draw a line all the way down for the side of your pitcher. Next, draw a smile at the bottom, and a line all the way up for the other side. Don't forget to draw the handle, too! OPTIONAL: make the handle your own, and add a shape inside the pitcher to add some more depth to your shape.


Next, let's draw the pot. Draw a smile curve for the bottom of your pot. Then, draw a roof shape on top to make it look extra cubism Picasso style. He loved using geometric shapes with lots of angles. Then, double on the inside of your shape. Now, draw two lines going down and a smile connecting the two lines on the bottom. Don't forget to draw the handle, too! OPTIONAL: make the handle your own, and add a shape inside the pot to add some more depth to your shape.


Ta-da! You're done with your composition and ready to move onto the next step.

Step 4: Add Shadows

We're going to add shadows underneath each shape. First, draw a little bit underneath and fill it in all black. You can add this under all of your shapes: the pitcher, the guitar, and the pot. Your shadows can be round or geometric, you get to pick! Just make sure it's under your object and filled in black.


Step 5: Add Your Table

Usually in a still life, a table just looks like a line behind your subjects. In Picasso's still life, the table has an angle. Draw a table edge on the side of one of your sides of your paper. Make sure all your subjects are still on the table! Then, draw the back of the table behind your subjects. When you want to, make another corner for the third side of your table and draw it back down the other side of your drawing.


Step 6: Start Coloring!

Now that we've got all of our subjects, let's start coloring in our drawing! Start with your table. You can choose whatever color you want to start coloring in your table. Don't worry if your black outline blends inside your table - that actually makes it look extra Picasso-y! Make sure you fill in your table all the way to the edge of the outside of the table and the edge of your subjects in the middle. When it's all filled in, take your black oil pastel and add streaks for the wood inside your table.


Next, take your white oil pastel and use a little white on each of your objects. Pick one area of each subject white.


Now, for the super fun part: pick whatever colors you want to start coloring in your shapes! They don't have to be perfect to the colors of the subjects you have in front of you. You can even mix colors if you want - just make sure every shape is totally filled in with color.


Step 7: Color Your Background

Pick a dark color and a light color for your background. Start with your dark color and begin to fill in your dark color, and use your light color to fill in areas, too. You want to have the background blendy and dynamic, instead of flat. Make sure you fill in your entire background, all the way up to your shapes!

Step 8: Blend, Blend, Blend

The cool thing about oil pastels is that they can blend really well! If you have a blending stick, use that; if not, you can make your own. Take a paper towel and fold it a bunch of times until it's really thick. You can use the corner to start blending your drawing. Start blending your background until you can't see anymore white spaces in your background. Once your background is blended, you can blend your table, and even your shapes if you want, too. Blending the painting makes it look more like an oil painting rather than an oil pastel drawing, kind of like Pablo Picasso's paintings.


The Final Product!

And Remember... Keep Making Cool Art!

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