Monday, July 25, 2011

2011: Art Project 7: Paul Klee Castle

Although we just worked on the Chihuly project a few days ago, we worked on this week's project today. We're traveling later this week and didn't have much going on today so figured it would be the perfect afternoon activity. This week we focused on Paul Klee. He was a Swiss Expressionist and taught with Kandinsky at the German Bauhaus school. He loved color theory and taught it at the school. He was also very musical as a child and ended up marrying a pianist. No wonder he was friends with Kandinsky! :-)

Here are a few of his works:
The Rose Garden, 1920
I asked the girls what they saw in this picture. They said "flowers!" and then I asked them to show me the stems which they could. And one of them said, "He likes to use shapes."
Red Balloon, 1922
Before I told them the name of this image, I asked them what they saw. My younger daughter said, "A red balloon!" And I told her she was absolutely right and that it was the name of the artwork. She was very pleased with herself. ;-)
Flora on the Sand, 1927
"More shapes and lots of colors."
Blue Nacht, 1937
This was Ella's favorite. She said right away she liked it because it was her favorite color, BLUE!
Castle and Sun, date unknown

I've seen the project we worked on today in various forms throughout the blogosphere. But we followed a modified version of Mrs. Art Teacher's lesson. :-) Instead of having the girls make all their own shapes with a ruler, I cut out out shapes from cardboard in our recycling bin so they could use them to trace.

I left this image up on the computer for them to use as a guide:
After tracing all their shapes, they went over their pencil lines with a crayon:

Then painted in each shape with watercolor paints. Per Mrs. Art Teacher's suggestion, I told them to paint one shape and then jump to another spot on the page to do a new shape/color. This helped keep the colors from mixing.

And finally, they painted the black around the outside.

Here are their final projects:
Lily's Castle and Sun
Ella's Castle and Sun

The girls really liked this project. I think it was a nice easy one to follow our very lengthy and intricate Chihuly project. This project could also be modified in a number of ways for younger artists. You could leave out the painting all together. Cut different shapes out of construction paper and have the child assemble their castle on black paper by gluing the shapes in place. You could also make this a three-step project over several days for younger kids with shorter attention spans. Have them draw the shapes one day and trace with crayon, have them paint the shapes another day, and then have them paint the black on the last day.


  1. Your girls did a great job with the lesson! I'm glad they had fun doing it. Making the shape tracers was a great way to adapted for any age.

  2. This is so beautiful Holly. I have pinned this for when the little boy is a bit older.

  3. Their artwork is beautiful! You could even extend the lesson to include math and explore tangrams.

  4. Hi,
    just found your blog via paint-cut-paste.
    This is so lovely.
    I will do that with my kids today!