You may have noticed that I love to do different versions of cubist self portraits or "Picasso faces." What a treat it was this week to introduce my group of 5 and 6 year olds to one of the most iconic and revolutionary artists in history. I explained to them that rather than painting a picture of a person the way you see them (like when you take their picture), Picasso wanted to show 2 or more different sides of the person all at once. Group response: smiles and giggles. Great, I've got them! We did the basic step by step lesson to draw our faces: large "U" shape for the face and add hair with just a few lines with oil pastel. Now for the important line down the face that really makes it Picasso-esque. It went something like," a long bent line for our forehead, now draw a slide for the nose, a sideways line, 2 bumbs for the lips and another long bent line for the chin. They did a wonderful job following along. Next we talked about our skin color. I asked what they saw: peach, tan, brown, ect.. I told them that Picasso was bored with painting with realistic colors. We are going to use wild and fun colors: red, blue, green ect.. More laughs and hoorays! The only rule was to paint the 2 sides of their face different colors. "What about the eyes Miss Mary?" On a separate paper they drew bold eye shapes and a Picasso type mouth following basic instructions. They colored these and cut them out. Now they were to glue them to their face, but were encouraged not to put the eyes side by side - another Picasso trademark. Some of the children painted their background, others opted to cut it out and will paint a separate background to glue their face. Once again, with this age group, there is a wide spectrum of skill level with fine motor control. So I like to offer alternatives based on this, so all the kids can succeed.