5: Los colores - Colours


Early Start Spanish 1: CONTENTS | HOME

Pack 1 | Pack 2
Spanish Starter Pack
1 Greetings
2 Goodbye
3 ¿Qué tal?
4 What's your name?
5 Colours
6 Numbers 1-12
7 Ages
8 Months
9 Numbers 13 - 31
10 Birthdays
11 Days of the week
12 Today's date
13 Pets
14 Brothers & sisters
15 Consolidation /
16 En la clase

What you will learn in section 5:

You see and hear the colours in Spanish...

Choosing brightly-coloured sweets from a stall in the street - The bowl of yellow sweeties.

PE in the spacious school gym.

The game is running to touch something when the teacher says, for example, "touch yellow!"

Paintbox colours
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Picasso - colours of a Spanish artist

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Famous Spanish artist who first exhibited work in Paris in 1900, and fell in love with the art scene in Paris. The suicide of a close Spanish friend (Carlos Casagemas) in 1901 led to his "Blue Period" of paintings; he painted impoverished characters like the blind beggar huddled round his guitar, using mostly shades of blue to express how depressed he felt. The people are very thin and angular.

Most of this work was done in Paris. He moved to France permanently in 1904.

See more examples on these web sites:


Search on 'Pablo Picasso' in the collections of the Chicago Art Institute: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/index.php

The Old Guitarist (1903) - from Picasso's "Blue Period"

Colour your own Picasso

These two early works are featured in colouring activities on the Early Start Spanish 1 Interactive CD-ROM:

(1) Pot, Glass and Book (1908) - still life
Primary Spanish - painters
(2) Female Head (1902-3) - portrait
Primary Spanish - painters
Click on the pictures to go to larger images on other internet sites.

...or search on: - http://www.hermitagemuseum.org


...or search on: - http://www.hermitagemuseum

Find some more colouring-in activities on Spanish artists here:


Mr Picasso Head link
Try to draw your own Picasso at 'Mr Picassohead'

One class looked at Picasso's "Blue period". They found lots of examples of his work following the web link below (Art Archive). Here is the teacher's blog:


Another class looked at examples of his still life paintings, and arranged their own objects to draw in a similar way. Here is a lesson plan:


Find Picasso paintings they looked at on the Art Archive:


Lesson plan -still life
Lesson on still life drawing

Self-portraits: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Self portrait 1896  Self portrait 1901  Self portrait 1907  Self portrait 1938   Self portrait 1972

Click on each thumbnail picture to see a larger image on another web site. These are a few of Picasso's many self-portraits, showing his changing styles from boy genius to old man, rich and famous, near death: 1896 ..... 1901 ..... 1907 ..... 1938 ..... 1972.

One class found examples on the internet, and made their own self-portraits echoing some of Picasso's styles.


 He developed "cubism" with Georges Braque, and had a long friendship with Henri Matisse.

One class did an internet search for examples of his work, and looked at how he reacted as an artist to the big changes he saw happenning in Spain and the world during his lifetime.

Even though his style was different, Picasso still appreciated the artists that went before him. He believed that painters should be more like collectors who save and copy art from history.

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Velasquez and the story "Katie and the Spanish Princess"

In this story book by James Mayhew, Katie is a girl with a magic gift; she can enter great paintings. In London's National Gallery, she goes into the 'Portrait of the Infanta Margarita', by Diego Velasquez (1599-1660) , a famous Spanish painter.

Katie and the blonde princess in a stiff golden dress become instant friends, and go together to meet characters in other paintings by Spanish artists, including the Princess's father, (the King of Spain, Philip lV) who tells them off.  

Court painter

Velasquez's job was 'court painter'; he painted many portraits of the Spanish royal family . One was "Las Meninas" ("Ladies-in-Waiting") . Many art historians rate it as the World's best-ever painting! It inspired Picasso to paint 36 versions of it two centuries later.

Katie and the Spanish Princess
Click to buy from Amazon
; available in hardback and paperback

What happens in the painting?

Although the focus of "Las Meninas" is the 5-year-old Princess, it's unusual for its time in that it also shows the artist himself. He portrays himself at work, (see below ) standing by a tall canvas pn which he is painting the King of Spain (the Princess's father) and his Queen.

Velasquez left the royal couple out of the picture, as if they were standing about where YOU are, looking at this scene - but he did show them in a mirror on the back wall. The young Princess Margarita has come in to watch with her maids and dwarf (an entertainer); a nobleman stands in the door-way at the back.

It is noticeable that Velasquez puts the characters who are least important in Spanish society to the front: the dog, the dwarf and the artist (who counted as a workman).

Those of high status are shown the smallest. Some people think he was making a secret statement that everybody is really equal - a dangerous idea in Spain at that time.

Find out more about Velasquez and "Las Meninas"...

Picasso's dog - he wore out many brushes scrubbing on the canvas. Compare with Valesquez's dog (below)
Analysis of "Las Meninas" by Velanquez
Velasquez's painting "Las Meninas" - highlighting details of the people and dog.
You look at the painting from the same viewpoint as the King and Queen of Spain.

Online activitiesPicasso's versions of 'Las Meninas'


Velasquez: Las Maninas


Have a go at this Las Meninas activity:

See how Picasso played with the people and things in Velasquez's painting, changing the colours and shapes, to make his own version.

Click on the pictures to go to larger images on other internet sites.

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