Lesson Objectives:  Students will learn and discuss the artwork of Pablo Picasso, abstract and cubism. Students will create an abstract portrait emulating Picasso’s style.

Time Required:      1 hour

Artist: Pablo Picasso, The Portrait of Dora Maar


12”x 18” White construction paper


Black Sharpie Markers

Oil Pastels


Discuss Pablo Picasso and cubism. Show how in the portrait, Picasso has painted the impossible: ½ of Dora’s face is painted full-on, while the other ½ is painted in profile. Discuss shape and what shapes are present in faces.


  1. Pass out the paper. Write names on back. Turning the paper vertical, draw a face shape, in pencil, in the middle of the paper.  Emphasize that the face can be ANY shape – not just oval. Make it large. When it’s done, the face should fill the paper.
  2. Students then draw a “profile” line going down the middle of the face, thereby making the face look like it was actually 2 faces – a profile view, and a front view.
  3. Add facial characteristics:  Eyes, extra nose, mouths, emphasizing the use of SHAPES, and really putting their imagination to the test.  They can add one ear, two, or none.
  4. Discuss the various types of lines that could be used to make hair.  Specify that the hair must lead from one side of the paper to another.
  5. Trace the entire drawing using a black sharpie and then add color with oil pastels.
  6. Optional:  Outline the drawing again with a black oil pastel to make it stand out.