Blue Period Art Activity for Kids to Learn About Picasso

From 1900 to 1904 is referred to as Picasso’s Blue Period. During this time, he created paintings in shades of blue. Most of these paintings have a sad feeling, reflecting his feelings during this time. His work eventually transformed into the playful, colorful artwork that he is most known for today. This Picasso’s Blue Period Art Activity is appropriate for kids ages 9 and up.

Picasso's Blue Period Art Activity for Kids

This art project’s inspiration is a painting from Picasso’s Blue Period, A Blue Vase, 1903.

a painting from Picasso’s Blue Period, A Blue Vase, 1903
Supplies needed for this Picasso’s Blue Period Art Activity:

  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil (not shown)
  • Soft Pastels or chalk in (Red and Black)
  • Palette (not shown)
  • Container of water (not shown)
  • Easel (optional / not shown)

Here’s another watercolor abstract art project based on the work of Joan Miró!

Watercolor and pastels craft for tweens

The first step of this project is to cut one sheet of watercolor paper in half vertically. You will use one long strip of watercolor paper for this project.

Activity setup

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Once you have the art supplies set up, place the strip of watercolor paper on a board or easel at a slight angle.

How to Watercolor WashThe paper’s slant will help you paint a nice, even wash of color for the background.

Mix up a nice puddle of bright blue paint.

Sweep your brush through the puddle of color to fill it with paint and apply it across the top of the paper.

Continue to fill the brush with paint and lead the puddle of color down the page.

You may notice the paper starts to buckle slightly when wet; that is OK – it will begin to flatten as it dries. If your paper remains buckled once the paint is dry, you can dampen the back of the paper and press it under a heavy book while it dries. You will notice the color of the paint lightens when it’s dry.

Watercolor flat wash instructionOnce the paper is dry, time to create the drawing.
First, draw a small oval near the center of the paper.

Step by Step Picasso Sketch

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Next, draw a similar oval (slightly smaller) toward the bottom of the paper.

Connect the two ovals by drawing the round shape of the vase and the stem.. Once the vase is complete, sketch the shapes for the flowers.

Picasso's A Blue Vase, 1903, sketch steps

Time to add the pastel! First, apply red pastel to the large flower shape. Use the pastel’s tip to color the flower red, allowing some of the blue background to show through.

Red pastel flower on blue watercolor background - art activity for kids

Next, use the side of the black pastel to color the background. Notice where the table begins in Picasso’s painting and draw a line to indicate where to stop coloring. Be sure to color around the smaller blue flower.

Using Pastels kids art tutorial

Use your fingertip to blend the black pastel in some areas of the background for a smooth finish. In some areas, do not blend as much to allow the blue background to show through.

A Blue Vase art activity based on Picasso

Color in the shadow on the bottom of the paper with the side of the black pastel. You can use the tip of the pastel to create a small line underneath the vase.
Use your fingertip to soften and blend the edges of the flowers a bit.

Picasso's blue period art project for tweensNext, add some black pastel to the vase.
Make sure a large amount of the blue background shows through in the vase.
Use Picasso’s painting and the example to see which areas to apply the black.

How to Make a Blue Period Art Piece
Next, use the tip of the red pastel to add a bit more detail to the red flower.
As a final step, you can use the pencil to draw the stems for the flowers.

The completed blue period art activity:

Finished Picasso Blue Period Art Activity

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About the author

Crystal has worked in the arts and taught drawing and painting for over 25 years in Los Angeles. She loves creating art, gardening, planning fun art projects, and enjoying creative adventures with her family. Find out more at

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