Our second Paul Klee Project was done with our homeschool art co-op. What a fun morning of art talk and art play we had together! I was sort of worried about introducing chalk pastels but about half the group had used them before and the rest were very open to trying something new.
We started off reviewing what abstract art is and how we can look at it with artist’s eyes. They had all seen the YouTube video before so we discussed how abstract art is not meant to actually look like anything but to make you feel something. This seemed a lot easier for them to understand than it does to me. I always try to figure out what things are in a modern art piece which really does take away from the enjoyment of it all.
We then viewed a slideshow of Paul Klee’s artwork on YouTube, pausing the slideshow to do a little picture study as we went through the colorful abstracts. This was very enjoyable and the kids took turns doing the narrating.
Then it was time to get down to some serious art business….I had prepared some of Klee’s prints in my fancy smancy IKEA frames for them to use as inspiration as they worked.
This same group of children all had attended an event at the local observatory a few days before our art lesson so we decided that the night sky would be our overall theme for this project. Because I didn’t want my beginners to be overwhelmed, we did this as a somewhat open-ended but guided art project.
We talked a few minutes about things we had seen in the sky, how the night made us feel, and how we could draw from our experiences and reflect that in our artwork.
We reminded ourselves that Paul Klee used lots of symbols in his artwork and thought of how we could incorporate that into our ideas.
I guided them by listing elements to add to their page one at a time using a black oil pastel:
- Moon, star, meteor, or constellation.
- A stick figure
- The letters V and C
- Three dots
- Two random lines – one needs to be touching the side of your paper
- A swirl
- One other element of your choosing – face, circle, etc
Then they picked a color palette from the chalk pastels (4-6 colors).
|Mr. N – Age 10|
They filled in their designs with blocks of color using the chalk pastels. We played with blending, using our fingers and palms.
|Miss C – Age 13|
After they finished with the color, they went back over their black lines again to define the shapes.
I think our lesson was very successful. Not only did we create a wonderful piece of abstract artwork, we learned how to better use chalk pastels and create a mood using a color palette.
Free Printable Lesson Plan for Paul Klee and Chalk Pastels
If you would like to print out this lesson for your family, I have pulled it together in a nice pdf for you: