Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DIY Cubism

I've had a few conversations recently regarding cubism and how it was produced.  Exactly how does one go about transforming an object or person into a cubist painting?  There are many explanations such as a cube has six sides, 3 of which are visible at any one time, however, you show all 6 sides.  I've also read that you paint the spaces "in-between" the objects - whatever that means.  Some people are of the opinion that there are no guidelines or methods, you much just "understand" the thinking of the day.  I've also read that you turn a 3D object into a 2D object by flatening it.  Yet another opinion was that you draw shapes, add to them and then apply the pieces of the object in different perspectives and shades, etc.  The last thought I heard was to reduce the object to basic shapes.  So, trying to use a little bit of each piece of opinion here is my feeble 15minute attempt to turn something into a cubist drawing.  Please hold all laughter until the end :-)

Step One
I started with a picture of the Mona Lisa.
I chose this picture because it has a limited color pallet with darks and lights.  It also has some very distinct features (eyes, mouth, pleating, hands).

Step Two
Next I tried to draw the figure in basic shapes with the outstanding features that I wanted to be noticable in the final drawing.  I'm not sure that it is proper since some of the master cubist paintings are hard to discern anything at all!

Again, please hold your laughter until the end... I'm just going with a method here!

Step Three
Once I had my basic shapes and attributes I started adding those shapes and other shapes onto the paper.  To be honest i tried to think of them as puzzle pieces all dumped out of the box and not yet put together.  Then I added complementary shapes and scattered attributes.

......and then I called my therapist.... now you can laugh!  Hope it brought a smile to your face today!


  1. I think it is quite successful,now YOU can laugh!

  2. Well, I think it's fabulous. I'd take the greens out, then I'd paint it. Then with a stencil, I'd add MON L. The cubists loved to play with stencils. No one had used those in a painting before. Great work. I really like it.

  3. Hey! I think it turned out great! I can't tell you whether it's "really" cubist or not. But I can tell you that it's a bit schizophrenic, and so therefore it's successful :-D

  4. you missed the smile! Pamela Allen teaches classes on this. She is a Canadian Fiber artist.

  5. I think it is really interesting-I don't know or understand anything about the cubists--but I like it!

  6. I'm inspired to try something like this myself! You're hilarious.