This week in the art room, K/1 has been focusing on cats. An excellent, age appropriate project is the marvellously majestic ‘Cat and Bird’ by Paul Klee.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York, writes the following about Klee’s painting, “The cat is watchful, frighteningly so, but it is also calm, and Klee’s palette too is calm, in a narrow range from tawny to rose with zones of bluish green. This and the suggestion of a child’s drawing lighten the air. Believing that children were close to the sources of creativity, Klee was fascinated by their art, and evokes it here through simple lines and shapes: ovals for the cat’s eyes and pupils (and, more loosely, for the bird’s body), triangles for its ears and nose. And the tip of that nose is a red heart, a sign of the cat’s desire.”
Through Klee’s painting I wanted to demonstrate to the children that drawing is all about shapes and lines. These are the building blocks of drawing.
Each student was given a white piece of paper and told to fold it in half creating a crease in the middle. Once the paper was unfolded they were told to draw a large ‘U’ shape using the center fold as the mid point. This was to be the cat’s head. Next, two slanted lines were drawn from the tip of each end of the ‘U’ shape and met at the center fold. The cat’s features were then added; two large, stretched ovals for the eyes and two smaller, vertical ovals for the irises, a thin triangle for the nose, a heart for the nose tip and two curved lines for the mouth. Students then drew a simple bird on top of the cat’s head. Students were then instructed to trace all pencil lines with a black crayon. The nose, irises, whiskers, cheeks and bird were all colored with crayon. Finally, water color paint was used to add color to the cat’s face and background. I think the K/1 cats look remarkably similar to Klee’s cat. Great job 🙂