Finding Inspiration: Picasso

Hi there!

I’m writing this post on Sunday, but I’ll probably post it later on this week.  I hope you are enjoying a nice weekend!

Yesterday I got out of bed with one challenge on my to do list: ART JOURNAL.  Seems rather clean cut, but still I had some procrastination going on first. I watched this weeks video for Wanderlust and Love Art Happy Life.  But before starting a new challenge, I still had to do my ‘real’ Picasso-based piece for last weeks lesson in LAHL.  I already did some sketches, but now for the real work.

Let me tell you about Love Art Happy Life e-course’s mission statement first.  I already told you I registered because I wanted to put more ‘me’ into my journal, but I didn’t really know where to start without prompts or lessons. So the object of this course is to get to know some of our teachers  favorite artists, to learn about their work, their flow.  And to be inspired by them, by their style or their subjects. But most of all, to give your own spin to what is characteristically theirs.

For me, not only being an art enthousiast, but also a historic documentary nerd (documentarista?); I can’t just look at masterpiece.  I have to know who made it, who’s on it and so on.  So I was really glad to see Marieke Blokland added a BBC documentary on Picasso and the women in his life to the first lesson.  The first thing I learned was the significance of all his relationships with women in all of his style periods. I knew for instance Picasso had had a blue period, but I didn’t know why exactly.


Second thing I learned: When you hear ‘Picasso’ in everyday conversation, most of the time it isn’t really flattering.  ‘A Picasso’ in Flemish usually is something that isn’t really pretty. And you somehow expect the facial features to be all over the place.  But when I studied the images I found through Google Images, they weren’t that misplaced! He only has a thing with noses and nostrils…  And second to that, you could really recognize the women, his partners, in the paintings.  How deformed they would be, you would still know who’s who, after seeing them in real life.  So that gave me a deeper respect for Picasso.  He wasn’t a favorite of mine, but you have to be so talented to do what he did.

And the weird thing is, he was in Paris in the bohemien time period too. Right there with all my favorite artists of the fin the siècle. He knew Toulouse-Lautrec.  He went to the Moulin de Galette for dance parties.  How surreal is that?  I kinda like that idea.

Looking at his work, last week, I felt most drawn to his line drawings. With just a few lines he could depict a person, give emotion.  That is true talent if you ask me.



So I started my challenge by sketching my own face.  What is so typically me? What makes me, me?  I found my eyes, my chin, my nose and my strait and thin hair to be key.  Then I played around a bit.


So today I had to put everything together.  I went for a combination of several things :

  • his blue period
  • cubism
  • really basic lines
  • Mariekes doll like figures
  • a cat, because Picasso owned a cat, just like me
  • some of my facial features like my eyes and uneven lips
  • a technique of using pencils over black paint I saw in this video series by Brandi Dayton


Stuff I learned:

  • inktense pencils don’t work well on black gesso
  • Polychromo pencils beat Derwent Colorsofts (the vibrant blues in this piece are polychromo’s)
  • Graphik ink pens really stand out (blue eyelashes and cats eyes)
  • I don’t like doing big backgrounds with pencils, so I switched to paint 😉

In my page, I like the male figure best. It’s too flat to be real cubism, but that might be a challenge to take on in another piece. It may not be wonderful.  But I had fun and I learned a lot about Picasso!



7 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration: Picasso

  1. I love what you did with your Picasso inspired page! I don’t know how you achieved it but the colours manage to be both striking and soft at the same time. The wonky faces make me smile. I love Picasso. He is one of my favourites and I really enjoyed teaching my kids about him over the summer and producing our own Picasso style art. There is something really liberating about not worrying about proportionality and placement of facial and other features of the human figure.


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