Apart from being an exceptional painter and the father of Cubism, Pablo Picasso was also one of the best draftsmen on the 20th century. ToPablo Picasso sketches served as a mean of discovery and engagement with masters from the pastthat in many ways contributed to the creation and the development of his unique art style. Throughout his life, the prolific artist created an array of hand drawings dealing with a variety of topics including humans, animals, and mythological creatures.Since his university days, the artist used drawing to abstract his subjects by carefully removing their features one by one until they were reduced to only a fewlines capturing the outlines of their anatomy. Picasso stated that:
Drawing is a kind of hypnotism: one looks in such a way at the model, that he comes and takes a seat on the paper.
In his later years, Pablo Picasso developed a single line drawing technique that was able to depict the very essence of his subject matter in only one opened line. The pencil sketches, that represent an essential skill for any artist, were changed and reinvented through constant reworking and redrawing of similar objects. Some were made as academic exercises and art studies for more complex works and some were executed as separate works of art but they all carry a unique elegance and energy that ensured them and undisputed popularity through centuries. As far as Pablo Picasso's sketches are concerned, it's safe to say that everyone has their favorite but we have selected these 10 sketches and line drawings as particularly beautiful and incredibly inspirational.
Be sure to check out works by Pablo Picasso on our marketplace!
Editors’ Tip: Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition
Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921 follows the dazzling development of his drawing practice from the precociousexercises of his youth to his renewal of classicism in his virtuoso output of the early 1920s. A selection of more than seventy Picasso sketches and line drawings on paper, with extended entries, highlights his stylistic experiments and techniques during this roughly thirty-year period, which begins and ends in a classical mode and encompasses his most radical innovations. An essay by Susan Grace Galassi provides a detailed study of Picasso's drawing practice and explores his interest in the Old Masters, and Marilyn McCully considers the early critical responses to Picasso's drawings. These discussions of Picasso's style, sources, and techniques demonstrate how drawing served as an essential means of invention and discovery for the artist.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso, via art-picasso.com; Pablo Picasso - Femme Torero,1934,detail
Pablo Picasso - Tete de Faune (Faun's Head), 1969
Picasso's drawing titled Faun's Headwas created for Pablo Picasso's friend and cultural attache at the Spanish embassy in Paris Mauricio Torres Balari and Llavallol. This pencil on fine, thick wove paper drawing represents a playful almost childlike depiction of a mythological figure dubbed faun, half-goat half-human symbol of forest and animals. The artwork was donated to Mauricio Torres Balari and Llavallol by Pablo Picasso himself.
Featured image: Pablo Picasso - Tête de Faune (Faun's Head), 1969, courtesy of Sylvan Cole Gallery
Pablo Picasso - Untitled, 1936
In 1936, Pablo Picasso combined his modernist concept and outstanding skills to create a surrealist drawing of two female figures. The subjects were sketched while embracing, with distorted spines and heads tilted to the back. The complexity of this Picasso drawing forces the viewer to take another look in order to fully decrypt and understand the artwork.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Untitled, 1936 via wikiart.org
Pablo Picasso - Portrait Of Diaghilev And Seligsberg, 1917
Portrait Of Diaghilev And Seligsberg was drawn based on a photograph taken by Jean de Strelecki. The sketch made in 1917 depicts Pablo Picasso's smartly dressed friends Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev and Alfred Seligsberg. The outlines of the figures interact only with the blank page of the paper making the sketch similar to the style of magazine portraiture of the period.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Portrait Of Diaghilev And Seligsberg, 1917 via wikiart.org
Pablo Picasso - Toro (Bull), 1969
Pablo Picasso created quite a few drawings of bulls during his career including his Toro (Bull) artwork from 1969. This particular Picasso drawing was featured on the pages of a book at Library of M. Torra-Blair in Paris. It only took a few cleverly placed lines to depict an image of a powerful animal while standing firmly on the ground with his horns menacingly pointed forward.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Toro (Bull), 1969 ; Courtesy of Sylvan Cole Gallery
Pablo Picasso - Sebastia Junyer-Vidal Arrives To Paris, 1901
When young Pablo Picasso decided to permanently move to Paris, and take his art career to a new level he was accompanied by a friend Sebastià Junyer Vidal. The two moved into a studio at 13 Rue Ravignan that was quickly dubbed the Bateau Lavoirr, a nickname inspired by its similarity with a Seine laundry barge. Two Spaniards remained friends for many years to come and their relationship was immortalized in several art pieces including this famous sketch.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Pablo Picasso And Sebastìa Junyer-Vidal Arrives To Paris, 1901 via moma.org
Pablo Picasso - The Girls Of Avignon (Study)
The Girls of Avignon is one of the most famous paintings Pablo Picasso ever made. The artwork portrays five prostitutes from a brothel on Avinyo Street in Barcelona whose silhouettes are visible on this sketch as well. Due to its explicit nature, the painting was considered immoral when its was first presented but is now praised as one of Spanish artist's finest works.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - The Girls Of Avignon (Study)via wikiart.org
Pablo Picasso - Femme Torero,1934
Throughout his life, Pablo Picasso felt a real passion for bullfighting. In 1930 he created a series of artworks depicting female toreador that in many ways resembled Marie-Thérèse Walter, his mistress. Femme Torerois among those art pieces that powerfully portray the love triangle and the tension between the artist, his wife and his mistress depicted in the images of the bull, the horse, and the young toreador.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Femme Torero; Images courtesy of KUNZT.Gallery
Pablo Picasso - Las Meninas (Velazquez), 1957
Las Meninas (Velazquez) was one in a series of 58 sketches created by Pablo Picasso in 1957. By changing the position of the characters, the composition, and the light, the artist meticulously examined every part of Velasquez famous painting. Though the drawing features Pablo Picasso's recognizable level of abstraction, by looking deep into the work the viewers can see the composition of Velazque's piece hidden bellow.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Las Meninas (Velazquez), 1957 via wikiart.com
Pablo Picasso - Dancer, 1954
This energetic ballet dancer in motion is drawn in the finest Fauvist style, with vivid colors and gentle wavy line quite the opposite from the sharp edges of Pablo Picasso's Cubist works. Unlike many other artworks from the list that are produced with the use of a very limited color palette,Dancer was created with many colors each emphasizing one part of the subject's physic and the purple leotards typical for the profession.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Dancer, 1954, via wikiart.org
Pablo Picasso - Bull (Study),1946
This particular 1946 study shows an array of abstract depictions of the bull created by simplifying and outlining the main featured of animal's anatomy. Subjects on the artwork vary in size and details but they all carry two recognizable characteristics of the animal - a powerful torso and conspicuous horns.
Featured image : Pablo Picasso - Bull (Study), 1946 via wikiart.org. All images used for illustrative purposes only.
What is a Picasso line drawing? ›
Picasso created his single line drawings using a variety of media, including pencil, pen, ink and brush. His single line drawing subjects included musicians, harlequins, nature and animals. Picasso was heavily influenced by the early 20th-century style of Primitive art in the creation of his line art.What is Pablo Picasso's most famous drawing? ›
"Guernica" is not only Picasso's best-known work, it's one of the most famous (and Google-searched) paintings in the world. Its depiction of an aerial bombing raid on the Basque town of Guernica in April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, was an eerie visual prelude to the coming atrocities of World War II.
In Paris, Picasso was introduced to traditional African Art. African Art so profoundly affected Picasso that it provided the creative impetus he needed to create works that shed all conventions and enabled him to surpass his artistic rivals.What are the 3 types of line art? ›
There are 5 main types of lines in art: vertical lines, horizontal lines, diagonal lines, zigzag lines, and curved lines.What are examples of line art? ›
- Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking, 1967.
- Richard Long, Cornish Slate Line, 1990.
- Frank Stella, Jarama II, 1982.
- Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke, 1965.
- Charles Sheeler, Classic Landscape, 1931.
- Joan Miró, The Farm, 1921–1922.
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Two Studies Of A Bird Of Paradise, 1630.
First Work of Art
The first known painting of Picasso is 'Le Picador' (1890) which he produced when he was only 9 years old.
Picasso is a prolific artist
In all his life Picasso produced about 147,800 pieces, consisting of: 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300 sculptures and ceramics and 34,000 illustrations - an impressive 78-year career.
To Pablo Picasso sketches served as a mean of discovery and engagement with masters from the past that in many ways contributed to the creation and the development of his unique art style.Did Picasso do one line drawings? ›
For most artists one-line drawing is a way to simplify the complex world around us. The most famous example even dates back to the early 20th century, with the one line drawings made by Pablo Picasso. He took a complex, realistic subject and simplified it into one single unbroken line.What type of art is line art? ›
Line art is any type of art that consists of pure lines. In other words, true line art has no shading and no definable backdrop; only an outline drawing. Line art is often made up of black lines on a white background, but that does not have to be the case. Lines and backgrounds can be any color the artist chooses.
How did Picasso use line in his work? ›
Picasso's genius brought about so much in his drawings, with often just a single, well thought-out line in pencil or chalk. The simplicity was astounding and helped others to realise the talents that lied in abstraction. Picasso's work has been reproduced for fans of his career countless times.What is Picasso's art style called? ›
Cubism was one of the most influential visual art styles of the early twentieth century. It was created by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963) in Paris between 1907 and 1914.What does Picasso's art represent? ›
Picasso painted and sculpted without constraint to express himself. He shows us all aspects of life, light and dark, its sorrows, its joys and its pleasures. This is why he inspires.What are the 10 types of lines? ›
There are many types of lines: thick, thin, horizontal, vertical, zigzag, diagonal, curly, curved, spiral, etc. and are often very expressive. Lines are basic tools for artists—though some artists show their lines more than others.What are the 7 types of lines? ›
- Straight line.
- Curved line.
- Horizontal line.
- Vertical line.
- Parallel lines.
- Intersecting lines.
- Perpendicular lines.
- Transversal line.
- Visible lines.
- Hidden lines.
- Section lines.
- Center lines.
- Dimension lines.
- Extension lines.
- Leader lines.
- Cutting plane lines.
- Horizontal Lines.
- Vertical Lines.
- Parallel Lines.
- Perpendicular Lines.
- Some other lines.
Some common forms of line include horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, and curved.What type of line does Picasso use? ›
Lines that are used to define the shape or form of an object or a figure, or to highlight key details of an image are called contour lines (or outlines). Pablo Picasso's portrait of Igor Stravinsky is a great example of this, showing the very fundamentals of contour lines in the portrait.What does Picasso painting mean? ›
Picasso painted and sculpted without constraint to express himself. He shows us all aspects of life, light and dark, its sorrows, its joys and its pleasures. This is why he inspires. There's another quote of his I like, “Inspiration exists... but it has to find you working”.
What type of art is line drawing? ›
Line art, otherwise known as line drawing or line illustration, is an illustration style that incorporates minimal lines and negative space to create refined yet crafty designs.What does line art symbolize? ›
Horizontal and vertical lines used in combination communicate stability and solidity. Rectilinear forms with 90-degree angles are structurally stable. This stability suggests permanence and reliability. Diagonal lines convey a feeling of movement.How do you describe lines in art? ›
A line is an identifiable path created by a point moving in space. It is one-dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Lines often define the edges of a form. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin.What is a one line drawing called? ›
A new drawing technique, one line art, also known as single line drawing, is currently conquering the creative sector, although it is not that new. Picasso drew animals such as camels, roosters and penguins in this style as far back as 1907.What is one line drawing? ›
A one line drawing, also known as a single line drawing, is a drawing made with just one line. For most artists it is a way to simplify the complex world around us. Yet there are many different kinds out there, with each artist having their own specific charisteristics.What is the name of line drawing? ›
Contour drawing is an art technique in which the artist sketches the style of the subject by drawing lines that result in a drawing that is essentially an outline (the French word contour meaning "outline").Why is Picasso's art important? ›
He helped invent Cubism and collage. He revolutionized the concept of constructed sculpture. The new techniques he brought to his graphic works and ceramic works changed the course of both art forms for the rest of the century.What is Picasso's art style? ›
Pablo PicassoWhat is special about Picasso paintings? ›
Associated most of all with pioneering Cubism, alongside Georges Braque, he also invented collage and made major contributions to Symbolism and Surrealism.How much are original Picasso prints? ›
The price of a Picasso print can range from $500 to $5 million. The worth of a Pablo Picasso pint is largely determined by the technique used, details, and presence of a signature.
How can you tell an original sketch from a print? ›
Prints have a clean straight edge, often created by the plate used to create the work. Looking at the surface of a painting with a magnifying glass is one of the best ways to spot a print. Often a high quality cell phone can take photos which reveal a great deal, especially when using different “filters”.How do you tell if a painting is real or a copy? ›
All genuine artworks come with a certificate. This document is mandatory to be given along with the sold original painting. The authenticity of artwork means that the origin of the work of art has been correctly identified. Artwork without a certificate could be fake and should not be purchased.