Self-Portraits Inspired by Paul Klee


Kinder­garten self-portrait and “Senecio” by Paul Klee

One of our won­der­ful par­ent vol­un­teers recently shared a great web­site with me that she found. If you’re look­ing for new art lessons to try, check out Kathy Barbaro’s “Art Projects for Kids”. I found a great idea on her web­site for “paint­ing” with tis­sue paper, which I tried with one of our Kinder­garten classes and they loved it!

After a demo on draw­ing self-portraits, I had my stu­dents draw their own self-portraits using a black crayon. (Encour­age stu­dents to press hard for best results!) Then, they laid squares of col­ored tis­sue paper over their draw­ings and painted over them with a brush damp­ened with water. The water makes the tis­sue paper bleed onto the paper. You can lift off the tis­sue as soon as you’ve painted over all of it. It gives a very Paul Klee-esque effect, as he often worked with line draw­ings and blocks of color.

A note of warn­ing: not all tis­sue paper “bleeds” when wet (this was news to me!), so be sure to test your tis­sue paper first, or buy art tis­sue specif­i­cally designed for this. I use Spec­tra Art Tis­sue for any projects where I want the tis­sue to bleed, and it works great!

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One Response to Self-Portraits Inspired by Paul Klee

  1. Lisa March 3, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    I have an ativ­ity learn­ing blog: I found your blog from your com­ment on Kathy Barbro’s site “Art Projects for Kids”. I really like your ideas and projects. So, I have two ques­tions. First, would you mind if I added you to my blogroll? And sec­ondly, may I use some of your ideas for my SMMART Art posts? I present these learn­ing ideas monthly on a local TV show that airs to all of Utah, and it may pro­vide you with a few extra hits a month as well. Please e-mail me at:
    Thank you,

    Lisa Bergantz

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