"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Paul Klee Inspired Heart Painting

Valentine's Day is fast approaching- it's one of my favourite holiday times as it involves alot of pinks, reds, glitter and sweets! So I have a couple of Valentine themed projects that I will share in the next couple of weeks.

The first project is a reposting of a Paul Klee inspired Valentine project my Grade 6 class made last year.

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible." Paul Klee

Paul Klee was a Swiss-born artist who worked in a variety of styles during his career including Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism; therefore, his work is difficult to classify into one style. 
His work has a very whimsical, musical and almost child-like style. In fact, Klee greatly admired the art of children who he felt seemed to create free of any outside influences. He tried to achieve the same untutored simplicity in his own art.

If you even get a chance to visit Switzerland, check out the Paul Klee Museum in Berne. I visited it back in 2006 and it's fantastic. I knew a little about his work before I visited, but had no idea of the wide variety of different styles he had. 
I left with a new appreciation and understanding of him afterwards.

Paull Klee, "The Rose Garden", 1921      Source

This project focuses on his Cubist period; breaking up the picture plane into angular shapes. It also introduces the wax-resist technique. 
This project took about 2- 90 minute periods to complete.

Paul Klee, "Landscape and the Yellow Church", 1920

Here's how we made these:

Fold a sheet of paper in half and cut out one or two hearts (or more).

Trace these onto a piece of cardstock (or any smooth paper).

Here, a student is practising first in her sketchbook.
Using a ruler, break up the picture plane into rectangles, squares, etc.


Here's a finished rough copy.

Pass over all the pencil lines with a Sharpie or black pencil crayon.
Then choose a few colours of wax crayons (4-5) and roughly colour in each sections,
alternating colours. Make sure to press hard.

Don't fill in all the paper- we'll be using paint for that.

Here's a close-up showing the white spots leftover- that is what you want.

Here's a student adding black pencil crayon after she finished colouring. Either way works.

Now for the wax-resist painting: we used tempera discs simply because I find them convenient and they work well. Watercolours, or liquid watercolours would also work brilliantly.

It is important to choose a colour that looks good with the wax crayon- you can choose a contrasting colour for a more dynamic effect, or a similar colour for a more calm effect.
Add a lot of water so it's more like an ink consistency.  

Then, you simply paint over the entire artwork (go in broad strokes in one direction with a flat brush) and then blot up any excess paint that's floating on top of the wax crayon parts. 
The paint will colour in all of the white spots and make the whole piece unified.

Dab excess paint off with a paper towel....

Ta da!

Grade 6 work:


Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

Beautiful hearts.
Your students did a fantastic job.

Runde's Room said...

Oh - that's beautiful!!! I especially love the ones that are more monochromatic. I think I've found a new February art project!!! Thank-you!

Runde's Room

Kreanimo said...

Very cool idea! Love the interpretation!

Ilse @ Art lessons from Belgium

Hope Hunter Knight said...

i really like this approach, and i heart paul klee!

Eddie said...

Wow, those came out just beautiful! We'll have to give that one a try! Thanks for the inspiration.

LPK said...

I teach at a First Nations school in Northern Ontario, Canada. Thanks for this post and your blog in general. The pictures and step by step instructions are very helpful.

I wrote a post about it here:

Miss said...

Thanks LPK! I checked out your link and your student's artwork turned out BEAUTIFULLY! And for a non-trained Art teacher it's even more impressive! Thanks for sharing your results.
PS: I've always wanted to teach in a First Nations School.

Pamelekh Klezmer Orkester said...

Hi. Love the hearts. We found them while searching for heart art that wasn't so cliche or valentines like. Would it be possible to use the top illustration in our brochure. We run a seminar series based around Jungian psychology. One week of seminars is focusing on heart issues. Please let us know as soon as you can. We are heading to the printer tomorrow.

Miss said...

Hi Elena,
Thanks for the compliment. Yes, you can use the heart image, but can you add a caption under the image with this website just to identify it's source. Thanks for asking!

Carolyn McMillan said...

My students LOVED this project. Thanks for posting!

Miss said...

Carolyn: Thanks for your comment and I'm glad your kids enjoyed this!

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