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 Pengouin. 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 subjects placed on 2D mediums in his Cubist works or making use of creativity flows and spatial intuitivism for his one-liners.
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:
The Animal Series
The process of reducing a complicated image to a single, but still powerful fluid line:
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 owned him, to which he replies: "$5.000". "But it only took you 5 minutes!" she says.
"No, mam. It took me all my life."
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 buddy and rival Henri Matisse.
I’ll tell you, it takes a lot of guts and hard work to simplify, then re-simplify, then do it again and once again. These drawings are completely fearless, they lack convention and traditionalism. Of course, the one-line Picasso drawings became the inspiration for many artists and designers. 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.