I enjoyed exploring “The Sketchbooks of Picasso”. (PICASSO P; GLIMCHER, M., GLIMCHER, A. (1986) Je Suis Le Cahier, The Sketchbooks of Picasso, London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.)

Things I have learnt from researching his sketchbooks: It’s good to explore different ideas. It’s alright to rework ideas and illustrations, and then to return to the original idea or to transform your ideas into something new. Mistakes should be celebrated. You can move between a variety of different styles. It’s fun to look at life in a different way, re-imagining it, even when it’s not celebrated by others at the time. Create like a child by being playful in self-expression and experimentation. Use what you have and try different combinations of colours and mediums.

I decided to use Picasso’s love for drawing/ painting circus performers as a starting point to create my own Picasso-inspired illustrations. I started experimenting with drawing some rough doodles of circus animals and clowns. While looking at the pages of Picasso’s sketchbooks, I noticed one of his drawings of a horse. It was very cartoon-like and I used the style of the ‘eyes’ from his drawing, in my own illustrations. I tried to create more angular shaped animal features.

Reference pictures from Pinterest:

Circus themed Reference pictures:

I then printed off red and white stripy paper to use as background. I created my illustrations using micron pen and koi brush pens. I cut them out, and glue and stuck them on top of the stripy background.

I then created a Picasso inspired abstract illustration of faces using lots of patterns and bright colours.

Inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s sketchbooks:

From there I was inspired to create another abstract illustration using a printed photograph of Pablo Picasso. I used half of his face in the abstract illustration. Then I used ‘free flowing-line’ drawing to complete the face.

Reference pictures from Pinterest:

I then repeated the process using a photograph of my own face. I added 2 of my favourite quotes by ‘Pablo Picasso’.

I also experimented creating an abstracted faces illustration using oil pastels.


NAME: Juanita du Toit


COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

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