cubism for kids…

the tate modern museum in london defines cubism as, “a revolutionary new approach to representing reality invented in around 1907–08 by artists pablo picasso and georges braque. they brought different views of subjects (usually objects or figures) together in the same picture, resulting in paintings that appear fragmented and abstracted.”[1]

kidsz’s child oriented definition explains that cubism is, “a style of art which aims to show all of the possible viewpoints of a person or an object all at once. It is called cubism because the items represented in the artworks look like they are made out of cubes and other geometrical shapes.”[2]

many early cubists painted and drew in monochrome so that their audiences would focus more on the geometrical shapes than on the colors represented in the art.  however, picasso soon changed this trend by introducing color into his cubist pieces.

here are some of picasso’s well-known cubist works[3]:

ask your kids to describe the shapes they see in each one; the three musicians work is especially geometric…

you can also visit tate kids for some great information on picasso and his other works-

this week’s art @ home project helps to introduce children to some basic cubist ideas; particularly the notion of fragmentation and abstraction in art, and also focusing on geometrical shapes (part of alegra’s e-learning this week).

while painting, we also talked about warm and cool colors; painting the inside of the heart with warm colors and using cool colors for the outside.

here is an easy way to remember the warm and cool colors using a color wheel:

all the materials used are simple and should be easy to find even during these times of social distancing.  we used watercolors but markers, colored pencils or pastels will work just as well.


  • a4 white paper
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • black marker
  • watercolors
  • paintbrush
  • water cup


  • draw a large shape in the middle of your paper- we drew a heart but anything will work- some ideas might be a flower, butterfly, tree or even a soccer ball
  • use the ruler to draw 4-6 straight lines from one side of the paper to the next; criss-crossing your main shape (more lines will make painting harder, but might be fun for older children)
  • use a black marker to outline all the lines
  • decide which parts will have warm and cool colors and start painting!




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