Paint and Draw

Drawing experiments

Think like the artist Alberto Giacometti and create interesting portraits and landscapes

Wait, who's Alberto Giacometti?

Giacometti was born is Borgonovo, Switzerland in 1901. He was really creative and he went to art school in Geneva, Switzerland and Paris, France. He is best known for making large, thin sculptures of people. He was inspired by Cubism (an abstract art style which often shows people from lots of different angles) and Surrealism.

We are going to do some drawing experiments inspired by Giacometti!

First, some wise words from the man himself...

'If we master a bit of drawing, everything else is possible'

Alberto Giacometti

What you need

  • Paper
  • Pencils and pens
  • Old magazines and newspapers

1. Human landscape

Giacometti experimented with using human bodies and heads to create landscapes. In a sculpture called The Forest, he used women to represent the trees and heads of the men to represent the stones.

To create your own landscape of faces carefully cut out heads, bodies and faces from old magazines and newspapers.

Now draw a simple landscape, like the one below, on a piece of paper. Place the bodies and heads onto the paper to make a forest of people.

An example of a landscape
Examples of a human landscape made with collaged magazines and newspapers.

Example of a human landscape made with collaged magazines and newspapers.

2. Capture movement

Giacometti captured movement in his sculpture. It often looks like people have been frozen in time.

Alberto Giacometti, ‘Man Pointing’ 1947
Alberto Giacometti
Man Pointing 1947
Tate
© The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2017

Can you draw figures doing the following movements?

  • Running
  • Waving
  • Walking
  • Pointing
  • Spinning
Drawing by Nick White

How about drawing your friend jumping and juggling? © Nick White

3. Matchbox drawings

Lots of matchboxes

© Nick White, Tate Publishing

During the Second World War Giacometti made artwork in his hotel room in Geneva, Switzerland. He made lots of tiny sculptures (some only 2cm tall!) and took them home in tiny matchboxes.

Take a big piece of paper and drawing lots of small boxes on it (like the picture above). Once you have drawn all your matchboxes fill the boxes with the following objects.

  • A plane
  • A monster
  • A city
  • A big sandwich
  • A dinosaur
  • A museum
  • A bug
  • A whale
  • A skinny dog (like the one below!)
Alberto Giacometti The Dog 1951 Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti The Dog 1951 Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti Stiftung (inv. GS47) © Alberto Giacometti estate / ACS+DACS in the UK, 2017

Example of matchbox drawings

Example of matchbox drawings

Fancy more activities like this or do you want to see some real Giacometti artwork? Check these links out with a parent or guardian:

Find other activities like this in the Meet the Artist: Alberto Giacometti book.

Go and see the Giacometti exhibition at Tate Modern now.

Thanks to Nick White for the activities and illustrations. :-)

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