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