I lived too far away to spend much lap-time with Dougie, so I wrote him these letters.
Here is a painting by Pablo Picasso called “Girl in Front of a Mirror.”
When most people hear the name Picasso they think of pictures that look like this one. He did lots of these. They usually have bright, pretty colors, but there seems to be something wrong with the faces. Most people call it “Modern Art.”
Do you see how Picasso has drawn the faces? There seems to be two faces together on one person. How strange.
Can you see that the girl is holding the mirror with both hands? The face in the mirror does not look like the girl’s face, does it? Do you suppose Picasso is saying something about how we see ourselves?
Picasso was famous as a painter, but he liked drawing a lot. In many of his paintings like this one you can see that he was drawing with a paintbrush.
Have you ever tried to draw with a paintbrush?
Picasso drew with oil paints, but you can do it with watercolors. Do you have some? They come in a small box. The paints are hard until you add water.
Get an old soup can or something else to hold water. Take your brush, dip it in the water, then drop some water on one of the darker colors. Add more water to your brush and do it again. Do it a third time. Wait a bit until the paint softens.
Now load your brush with the wet color and put it on the inside cover of your open paint box, making a little puddle. Do it again. Add some more water to make your puddle bigger. Use the puddle for your paint. When the brush runs out, dip it in the puddle. If the color is too light, add more paint. If it’s too dark, add more water.
Now let’s draw with our paint brush just like Picasso. Let’s draw a girl’s face. Start by making an oval.
Now add some eyes. Remember how we practiced drawing eyes the way Picasso drew the eyes of the girl next to the dove? Try to make some like that.
Now add a nose. Just make two lines.
And make a mouth. Let’s make one like Picasso did with the girl and the dove. Start with a bit of a curve for a little smile. Then add a squashed “M” on top or the smile, and a “W” on the bottom. Make the “W” larger than the “M,” because we always see more of a person’s lower lip than the top one.
Add more hair.
Add an arm and a funny hand like Picasso’s Girl in Front of a Mirror. Add more hair if you want to. And make some lines on the neck. That looks like her blouse.
And now we are drawing with a paintbrush like Picasso.