Bold Picasso Style Self Portraits Level: 4-5


Picasso Style Self Portraits

Art Lesson Plan by Display My Art



Students will create self portraits inspired by Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Dora Maar and other similar works.



Anchor Standard #1
-Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #2
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #3
-Refine and complete artistic work.

Anchor Standard #7
-Perceive and analyze artistic work.



Observe some of Picasso’s portraits, specifically Portrait of Dora Maar, and notice how he uses multiple views and bold unnatural colors. Students will be creating works inspired by this.


Step 1:
LIGHTLY in pencil, have child draw outline of a portrait of themselves.

Picasso Style Self Portraits Art Lesson Plan


Step 2:
Have them LIGHTLY draw a line directly down the center of face (this line will later be erased, so stress that they draw it LIGHTLY).

Picasso Style Self Portraits Art Lesson Plan


Step 3:
Have the children view each side of the face differently. The RIGHT side of the face should be their face as if being viewed straight ahead. The LEFT side of the face should be viewed as a profile with nose being shown as a “side view”. The expressions can be different expressions for each face if desired. Have them draw the details (eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth) for each side of the face. Erase any pencil lines that look like they don’t belong on the portrait.

Picasso Style Self Portraits Art Lesson Plan


Step 4:
Color each shape on both sides of the portrait different colors with marker, so that even though the face is connected, if you look closely you can see that there are two different views shown. Outline each shape on the portrait in black marker, if desired, to separate shapes. If the child wants to be further challenged, they can create their own designs and/or patterns on one side of the face, making it even more distinguished from the alternate view.

Picasso Style Self Portraits Art Lesson Plan

*Don’t forget to put student name and year on the drawing, at least one inch away from the outside border.*

To use this lesson as an art fundraiser, go to

Required Materials

  • 01Display My Art drawing paper, pencil.
  • 02Brightly colored magic markers.
  • 03Samples of Picasso’s portraits including “Portrait of Dora Maar”.
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