I love it when great art and books combine, especially when they help spark imagination and creativity in young children. That is one of the reasons why I love Phaidon Publishings “First Concepts with Fine Artists” series. This is a new release board book in that series that is wonderful for introducing children to the work of the famous Pablo Picasso.
The style of the illustrations featured are animals sketched out with a single line from Picasso’s sketchbooks. Also, the text accompanying each illustration is just as simple as the drawing itself which makes it perfect for the youngest of bookworms. An especially nice addition is the short biography of Picasso that they included at the end of the book along with scanned images of actual pages from Picasso’s sketchbooks where the illustrations in the board book were pulled from. SO NEAT! I’m excited to see what artist this series features next!
DIY String Art inspired by Picasso
Of course I had to pair this book with a “Beyond the Book” art activity because Picasso’s work, even his hundreds of simple sketches, are so inspiring. One art activity you could do is simply to have fun drawing animals of your own with only one line using a pencil and paper. However, when I realized all the animal sketches spotlighted in this book were done with that single line, I thought string art would be the perfect fit. Not only does it create fabulous art with multiple dimensions through a fun process, but I also think it would be easier for the younger artists to limit themselves to just one line. I think it worked wonderfully and my toddler had a blast manipulating the slimy yarn.
- white yarn or string
- black card stock or poster board
- (I chose to use black and white to emulate the simple, stark contrast of Picasso’s sketches, but any color combination works.)
- kid-friendly liquid craft glue
- paper plate
- Cut off a piece of yarn any length you want (Keeping the size of the poster board that you are using in mind.) and squeeze an ample amount of glue on your paper plate.
- Drag the yarn through the glue (or swish it around in the middle if your like my toddler!) and then place it on your poster board in your desired, animal inspired, shape.
- Allow your art to dry completely.
If you give this Beyond the Book activity a try I’d love to hear how it goes! Share it on Instagram using hashtag #beyondthebook (I’m on Instagram as @book.nerd.mommy) or even just comment here with your thoughts. It would make my day! Or to simply save for later pin the image below.