What Picasso Taught Me - A Simple Approach for You to Understand and Appreciate Art

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

"The Bull" series by famous artist, Picasso, taught me how to simplify, and zero-in on specifics .


Most people think that art is all about seeing every detail, but seeking basic shapes among the realistic elements is a concept to appreciate.


Picasso’s “The Bull” series is a tangible exercise in how to develop a painting from the academic to the abstract.


“The Bull” is eleven lithographs that Picasso created over a month in 1945. It visually deconstructs the image of a bull to discover its essential form. Each plate is a successive stage in exploring the ‘spirit’ of the animal.



The beginning plate is a sketch-like lithograph, perhaps like it was done with a brush, adding shadows and depth to simulate the animal.


Then the bull begins to transform into more of a mythical beast, with husky horns and a powerful appearance from shadows that become dark and commanding.


As the series continues, Picasso strips away details and stylizes its anatomy. In the end, the absolute essence of the creature is as concise as possible, reduced to a curvy stick figure that is still unmistakably a bull.


The 4 Stages of an Artist explores how an artist learns to take complex subjects, and simplify them down to abstract forms.




The trees simplified again becoming more streamlined. 10 x 10" original acrylic by Kate $110

The Four Stages of an Artist represents how an artist views his subject, and how he paints it choosing from realism, impressionism, abstract, or non-objective.


Yet as importantly, your perception is what allows you to experience art in a unique way, and it’s why art is so diverse. It's a way of expressing your individual taste.


Whether you're enthralled with the details, or prefer the simple approach better, the choice is yours!

Most importantly ... enjoy!


Related article: Enjoy Viewing Art, with or without Art Knowledge or Education