Imagine someone that’s partially color blinded but really digs Art & Design. That was my best friend in Graphic Design School. He would be there, at the basics of our course (read color wheel studies), trying to tell between a mid-green and a mid-blue, while I’d (also partially laughing) help him find the right tone. Later, both he and I learned that we cared a lot for the color spectrum, but that we also praised monochromatic, minimalist compositions such as some of the one-line Picasso Drawings.
Of course, not all the one-liners are necessary as minimalists as Picasso’s Le Pingouin. And there are the perks of Maximalism: you can achieve a very grand style by mapping the shadows of your composition and letting your single line go crazy to work the tone scale, deepening the frequency of the lines per space.
The continuous line drawing technique consists in starting and completing a piece in one sitting: after it touches the paper, the pencil only rises from it once the drawing is finished.
Looking at Picasso’s body of work, one can deduce that he was always in search of different approaches for innovative shape descriptions. It could be by ingeniously flatting 3D subjects into, well, still 3D themes placed on 2D mediums in his Cubist works or making use of creativity flows and spatial intuitivism for his one-liners.
Reduce, reduce, and reduce more
One line Picasso drawings are the process of reducing a complicated image to a single, but still powerful fluid line.
Picasso grew up studying under his dad, an artist slightly obsessed with pigeons.
The Dove of Peace
The Dove of Peace was commissioned as the logo for the First International Peace Conference in Paris in 1949. The inspiration was a dove given by his buddy and rival Henri Matisse.
So I’ll share with you the coolest (in my humble opinion) One Line Picasso Drawings. Not all of them are made using a continuous line, but they are all made using a single line. We’ll start with the Animal Series:
Picasso’s big lesson
Picasso was in a park when an unknown woman asked him for a portrait of her. She was stunned by the result and resemblance and asked how much she owed him, to which he replies:
“But it only took you 5 minutes!” she says.
“No, mam. It took me all my life.”
More one line Picasso drawings
Contemporary single line drawing artists
Of course, the one-line Picasso drawings became the inspiration for many artists and designers. So, let’s take a look at some creative use of one-line illustrations:
The Iconic Sneakers by Differantly
I’ll tell you that it takes a lot of guts and hard work to simplify, then re-simplify, then do it again and again. These drawings are totally fearless, they lack convention and traditionalism.
I wanted to post here a special mention to a French Duo creating amazing stuff between Paris and Berlin: the DFT or Differantly. I especially admire their “Iconic Sneakers” playful illustrations, where they sum the design features of sneakers we all love to a single, unbroken line.
A Graphic String Theory
One-Liner Botanical Series
Last but not least, I can’t help but mention that we at Elumina also used the drawing technique to create posters inspired by nature.