My Wild Thing

picasso face 003

Students will learn facial proportion and spacing by drawing a basic face, then get creative by using pastels to make half the face “go wild”.  This lesson will take 60-90 minutes.

This lesson was inspired by Picasso Faces on the Think Create Art artists blog.  Check out more samples by clicking here.



  • 30 pieces of 12″x18″ MANILLA paper
  • sketching pencils
  • gum erasers
  • crayola pastels (I know they look rough, but they are still good)
  • paper towels

What to do:

1)  Show the students samples of what they will be doing.  Explain to them that they will start by sketching a full face and then modify half of it.  You will be taking them through the sketching process step by step.

2)  Review what it means to sketch.  Sketching is making very light marks with the pencil.  The pencil should not be making indentation in the paper and should be easily erased.

3)  Students should fold their paper in half lengthwise (hot dog style).  They should be working in portrait (vertical) orientation.

4)  Use the following step-by-step process lead students through drawing the face.How to Draw a Face

5)  Keeping the bounds of the proportions, students will now sketch over the LEFT SIDE of the face to create their “Wild Thing”.  They should think about the shapes they want to use:  Spiky shapes to represent fur, rectangular shapes to represent something mechanical, serpentine lines and kidney shapes make things look creepy.  Think about wild eyes, maybe fangs in the mouth, crazy ears, and or maybe markings on the skin.  Erase any old lines from the left side of the paper.

6)  Go over all the lines you want to keep with your pencil to make a darker line.

7)  Once their sketch is complete and all the extra lines are erased, students should write their names on the a back of their papers and the docent should collect the sketching pencils and gum erasers.

8)  Start coloring using the pastels.  Please note, the crayola pastels we are using will smear, but do not easily blend like a typical pastel.  Students can use them more like a crayon, taking care not to drag their hand across work.  Remind them to keep a paper towel handy to avoid getting finger prints on their work.

9)  Students should start coloring in their work on the right side of the paper.  Students should use fairly realistic colors for this side starting with the background of the face.  Then students should proceed with coloring the facial details, then the hair.  The hairline should start midway between the eyes and the top of the head and slope down to the top of the ear.  Finally students should color the background outside the face.  This back ground should be fairly simple to it doesn’t compete with the face.

10)  Students should now color the left “wild” side of their drawing in the same way they did the right side only now they can use unexpected colors.  Purple lips, yellow eyes, and green skin  are all acceptable for the “Wild Side”.

11)  Students should finish by using the black pastel to outline their face and all the features.  Both sides.

For the Gallery:

Stack the artwork face up.  Take the artwork to the TAP room and laminate each piece. Trim the excess lamination.  Please email Kamala if you are unsure of how to use the laminator.  Ask you teacher for labels and place a label on each laminated piece.  Leave the labeled and completed projects in the Reading Room located in the library.


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