What is it?
How was it done?
Picasso painted this picture quickly with a few strong lines and bright spots of colour. The forms are rendered in simple sweeping lines, there are three tones, light, mid and dark with greenish tones dominating. The colours are subdued and controlled by swoops of line. The picture is thickly painted with superfluous details left out.
This painting was done at the commencement of Picasso’s blue period when he painted in blue and green monochromatic colours only.
Why should we care?
The painting gives us an insight into the personality of Picasso at 21 when the portrait was done. It shows his thoughtfulness and poetic sympathy with the subject. At the time, Picasso was facing difficult years without a studio and he struggled to survive and sell his paintings. This was reflected in Picasso’s paintings of poverty and instability done around this time. In the blue period, he often painted the desolation of social outsiders, prisoners, beggars, circus folk and despairing people.
Where can I find more paintings like this?
Picasso was influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and this can be seen in the portrait of Monsieur Boileau done in 1893. Edgar Degas was another influence and his 1895 portrait of the Seated Woman reflects this.
Meditate, relax and enjoy
There can be no mistakes in making this painting. Everything ends up as it should be. Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself, here’s how:
You will need
- a small canvas, 30cm x 40cm is a good size
- tubes of primary acrylic colours, blue, red and yellow plus white
- a dark watercolour crayon
- soft nylon paint brushes, (small, medium and a little larger)
- water in an old container
- a rag or disposable cloth
- an hour or two
Tips on the Process
- prime the canvas first, otherwise, just a wash and dry with a towel
- print the photo you want to work from, measure and cut into quarters to make your drawing in a grid
- turn the original photo upside down to make the drawing
- use a dark coloured water colour crayon for your drawing
- correct drawing right-side up from the original
- erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
- it is okay for the watercolour crayon mark to bleed into the painting
- everything is easily painted over with acrylics
- paint in the background first
- try not to use paint directly from the tube; experiment with how to mix colours
- create a perfect skin tone by blending warm yellow, warm red, a dot of cool blue and lots of white, experiment first
- layering colours on top of others using the scumbling technique creates magic
- acrylics dry darker than the mixed colour
The Drawing Process
Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing first. This is just a framework to place the figure on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.
Otherwise, you may use my drawing below. I suggest you ask your copy shop to print the PDF below onto a canvas and proceed to make your own unique painting. Otherwise, you can print the copy on to good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it. It’s your painting after all!
Image from http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-22123607 accessed 18/08/2016