Still from Visit to Picasso documentary

Draw Something, Picasso-style

Still from Visit to Picasso documentaryWhat I like about the mobile app/game Draw Something isn’t the game. As a game it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Should I try to make it hard for my opponent to guess what I’m drawing? If I make it too hard, he won’t guess, and then neither of us gets a point. But if I make it really easy, then where’s the challenge for my opponent/collaborator? What exactly are we doing here?

Instead, what I enjoy is watching my opponent/collaborator draw, guessing along the way what he is drawing, and appreciating the little details of the process. It’s extra fun if the drawing has a dynamic, animated aspect: a bouncing ball shown in multiple positions, maybe, or a drawing that gets wiped away and replaced by the next phase. 

It reminds me of the documentary “Visit to Picasso,” a short black and white film that shows Picasso at work, painting doodles on glass. Here’s a clip. 

I’ve also seen a film in which Picasso drew a bullfight. He drew a recognizable bull and matador, and when the drawing looked quite complete to me, he kept going, modifying both the bull and the matador until each was distorted so as to be barely recognizable — perhaps this process was related to the deconstruction we see in his Cubist work. Watching him stretch and destroy and remake the figures was so strange to me, so counter-intuitive. I would love to see it again, but it doesn’t seem to be from the “Visit to Picasso” film. Perhaps it was “The Mystery of Picasso“? If you know, do share in the comments.

 An exercise for the reader: Would Picasso be the best-ever person to play Draw Something with, or the worst?

Bonus video: “Pablo Picasso,” The Modern Lovers

Bonus bonus video: David Bowie remakes The Modern Lovers’ “Pablo Picasso”