Apr 7, 2010

Paul Klee Abstract Castle

Paul Klee was one of the great colorists in the history of painting. I developed this project that imitates his abstract “Castle and Sun” painting by having students trace cardboard shapes and fill them in with colored pencils.
1. Give each student a piece of black paper, a pencil and half a dozen or so cutout square, rectangle and triangle cardboard shapes. I made lots of shapes that were all based on 1" proportions. My sample uses 2" squares, 1" x 2" rectangles (some with triangle tops) 3" x 2" rectangles, a 3" bridge, and a 2" circle.
2. Starting at the bottom, the students are to stack and trace the cardboard shapes until they have built a castle to their liking. A sun is also added somewhere in the sky. After the drawing is done, they are to trace all the pencil lines with a white colored pencil.
3. All the shapes are filled in with colored pencil. Tip: If you think this may be a “keeper” project and you have the resources, buy some good black Artagain paper which won’t face before your very eyes like the school-regulated construction paper does. There’s nothing like good materials to make good art (sometimes!)


Jen said...

I'm homeschooling my 4 children and my 3rd grader LOVES art! I'm so glad I found your site because I'm sure I will use MANY of your ideas. Thank you for generously sharing your talent!

Jen Y.

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What a striking result, loving the black background.

Johnsen Crew said...

We did the Castle and Sun this week with our homeschool co-op. Thank you for taking the time to do this blog. The kids loved doing this project!!

Lisa J.

JAZ said...

I'm a bit confused by this one - will colored pencils really show up that bright on black construction paper???

Kathy Barbro said...

Hi Jaz,
You're right, I should note that I used my semi-expensive pencil crayons, the student Dick Blick brand. If that's not in your budget, construction crayons work great on black paper too.

Tom Bremer said...

My district has Paul Klee recommended as an artist to study in first grade. After some googling around for ideas, I found your blog entry. Nice work on this--so far it seems like students are all getting in to it. A decent amount of structure in the lesson with leeway open for creative interpretation (I've had windows, flags, bars, etc.)