Sunday, December 4, 2011

Introducing Shapes and Patterns using Klimt and Klee (part 1)

We've recently been reviewing shapes, colors and lines as part of the children's art activities at home. This made me pretty enthusiastic since it means I get to introduce my favorite artist: Gustav Klimt! For those who want to know more about Klimt the multimedia presentation found at iklimt is an interesting starting point. But just a word of caution, it is not for the sensitive eyes since his works can be a bit too erotic.

However for children, Klimt's works can be a good way to introduce the use of shapes, patterns and lines in art. This can be seen in his works The Kiss or The Tree of Life.

For this activity, I used the thinking routine Colors, Shapes and Lines to look at Gustav Klimt's The Kiss.

One of the key features of Klimt's work aside from the shapes and patterns is his use of gold in his art works. Since the kids didn't pick up on it in their responses on the colors, shapes and lines, I know that this is something that we can do for the next projects. Patterns also seem to be something that they didn't identify with the artwork presented. But overall it was good since they are now beginning to also recognize different types of lines.

When I showed them The Tree of Life, I used the Looking 10x2 thinking routine but was refitted to their age group so it became Looking 5x2. It was fascinating to listen to Katie's very specific observations of the owl.

How about you what can you see in this artwork?

Too bad that wasn't the full artwork on The Tree of Life. It was nevertheless interesting to show to the children. The session wouldn't be complete without the children doing their own artworks. Using the masterpiece coloring page from Art Projects for Kids on The Tree of Life (definitely worth the 5 dollars, and do check out the drawing pages as well!), I printed it out on tracing paper for the sgraffito activity that I wanted to introduce to the children. Sgraffito is what we commonly know as scratch art technique. For this activity we used oil pastels instead of paint which is common for sgraffito artworks.

We started well on doing the coloring using pastels. However Milos felt he didn't want to ruin his work with the black pastel on top. The little one is at the stage where he doesn't want his works touched or influenced in any other way. So for now it's just him watching what Katie was doing. Here are some photos of the little artist in action...