Paul Klee-Landscape

Timeframe:Three-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 3rd
Materials: 11X14 white med. weight tag board, black acrylic paint, cardboard scraps (about 1 inch long), liquid condensed watercolors (looks like this), salt, green acrylic paint, other assorted acrylic paint-floral colors, small wads of scrap paper

I absolutely love Denise M. Logan's Dynamic Art Projects for Children. I refer to it often, and that is where this lesson originated.

I  modeled all steps for the students for this project. They drew the scene with the cardboard scraps dipped in black acrylic onto the 11x14 white medium weight tag board. I did not let them draw with a pencil first. However, they did practice on a basic sheet of drawing paper with the cardboard and acrylic until they were comfortable using these new drawing tools.  They drew the mountains, hills, horizon line, sun, and stems to the flowers. This took some students longer than others. I encouraged them to take as long as they needed. Practicing and drawing on the tag board took about one-45 minute session.

Then they painted with liquid condensed watercolors diluted with water. I showed them how to get a blended effect using warm and cool colors. For instance, the hill in the bottom right corner is orange, red, and yellow liquid watercolors blended together. The hill in the middle has more red than the others and some magenta. As they painted, they carefully sprinkled salt onto the wet watercolor. That gives the great effect that is so beautiful on the blue mountain in the picture above. This took about one-45 minute session.

The students touched up any liquid watercolor that needed to be brighter. They just washed over their previous work with the liquid watercolor and a brush to get a more vibrant color. Finally, they took the small wads of scrap paper and used it as a stamp. They stamped the floral colored acrylic onto the black acrylic stems to create flowers.

My favorite part of this project is using scraps as painting and drawing tools. My students were amazed that they could draw and paint with almost anything. This was a very engaging project for every single one of them! 

One mistake that I made, and that I plan to rectify if I ever get the chance to teach this project again, is that I didn't focus enough on Paul Klee. If I find a really great video or a really great digital presentation on him, I will share. If you know of one or have made one, please share also! Thanks!
 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room