Klee Cat (and bird)

Grade 3/4: Drawing in the Style of an Artist

Generally, I do not insist on making students follow a rigidly directed way of drawing an image. In the case of this project, I did.


Paul Klee "Cat and Bird" 1928

Paul Klee “Cat and Bird” 1928


To begin with, I introduced them to the work of Paul Klee, focusing on one painting: his 1928 “Cat and Bird”. I talked about how he saw the forms of such things as cats and birds as simple geometric shapes put together. What shapes could they see in the painting?

Time to get to drawing their own! I gave them big white sheets of paper, suggested they stand at their table to draw, and draw big! First, a pencil line frame around the edge. Then, as suggested by Anne Farrell on her blog, I walked them through drawing the cat (and bird), step by step. It was important for them to do it in the order I demonstrated, going along as I did on the white board. They needed to connect their work to Klee’s, and to learn an approach that might be different than their own.  When they finished all of the drawing steps (don’t forget the bird … or the sun), they went over their pencil lines with black Sharpie marker.

Smocks on, paint out. It was less important for me to have them use colour in the same way Klee did, though they were quite free to follow his lead in that. Here is where their individuality blossomed – love that!

I think they were quite enjoying themselves; happy chatter as they painted, sometimes taking inspiration from one another. This took two double period classes to complete, with some early finishers doing a small extra project. Good reviews in the hallway once they were up!

Winter 2015 / Parliament Oak School

Big UP thanks to Anne Farrell at www.useyourcolouredpencils.blogspot.com for this lesson.

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