Picasso Pastel Portraits

Pablo Picasso was one of the most prolific artists ever, and one of his contributions was cubism, the idea of looking at something from different angles. A good way to demonstrate this idea is to draw a portrait with both a front and profile view.
1. With a 9" x 12" piece of black construction paper, show the students how to draw a profile down the middle of the paper. Start at the top center, draw a forehead straight down a couple of inches, then comes a nose that ends in the center of the paper, lips below, and chin that curves up and goes off the paper. Finally, add a neck to the bottom.
2. Complete the profile face with a profile eye, and chin line that matches the opposite side.
3. Complete the front view face with an eye that looks directly out, along with a mouth and chin.
4. Add hair and any other desired detail.
5. Trace the drawing with a black oil pastel. Press hard to make a dark line.
6. Fill in all of the drawing with oil pastels, leaving no paper to show. Encourage unusual colors, as many abstract artists do.
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Paul Klee Doodle Drawing

One way to appreciate the masters is to try to copy them. A famous painting of Paul Klee’s titled “The Grooms Arrival” looks like one simple doodle drawing filled with different colors, which I thought my students would enjoy imitating.
1. I studied “The Grooms Arrival” to come up with a continuous line drawing for the ‘body’ that would pretty closely resemble the original. Using the board in my room, I had the students follow along with me as I drew my doodle example very slowly. They drew in pencil on some new paper I found – Staples® Bristol Board. (It comes in some very nice colors and is fade resistant too). The goal was to have them draw a large doodle with several crossover lines. When the ‘body’ was done, they could add arms and feet that also crossed over the body in some fashion. A hat, eyes and mouth were added.
2. With the drawing complete, the lines were traced with a fat black marker. Staples came through again with their own fat chisel-tip permanent markers that were much less expensive than Sharpies.
3. All of the closed shapes were colored in with colored pencils. My students used my Dick Blick pencils, which work well on colored paper. Construction Crayons would be good too, I’m sure.
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Special Needs Art Project

I’ve been asked in the past about art lessons for those with special needs, and just recently found this idea to work pretty well. I see a class every week that has mild to severely autistic kids, and it can be a struggle to find projects that cover the range of abilities. It seems their needs are more about adding creativity to things that are already familiar to them or at least, that is the approach I am taking for now.
1. I used 9" x 4" strips of watercolor paper for the students to write on in crayon. They could write the letters, words or numbers if they knew them, or trace them with the help of an aid.
2. Each student got a watercolor tray and water, and were shown how to wet the tablet and then spread the paint over each letter in just a simple circular motion. Those that finished the “A B C” strip got to go on to "D E F’ and so on. Very simple, but the watercolor paper makes it very pretty.
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Jasper Johns Numbers

Jasper Johns, a master American artist, was the first to use everyday objects as his subject matter. One of his most famous paintings was just a grid with many numbers. Some math teachers find this art project helpful to have students practice lining up columns of numbers.
1. I printed up sheets of paper that were already divided into three columns of three squares. Ask the students to write single digit numbers only from the top left to the bottom right square in pencil.
2. The students are to trace all the numbers with a thick black marker.
3. Pass out lots of oil pastels and instruct students to color in each square, adding details as they desire.

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Abstract Watercolor Still Life

This is my project for my afterschool watercolor class tomorrow. My main goal is to have the mostly kinders and 1st graders practice painting simple shapes (no extra patterns allowed!) and to leave white space around the painting. I love the painterly look it creates, and think this will be a nice change from painting to the edge, which we almost always do.
1. I’m first cutting out four template shapes from cardboard: a coffee cup, bowl, wine glass and plate. The students will be asked to overlap these shapes on their watercolor paper, trace them in pencil, and then in crayon. The more they press down with the crayon, the better the divider edge they make to keep the paint from running together.
2. Using watercolor trays, they will paint in all the different shapes different colors. I’m going to remind them many, many times “do not paint to the edge, leave some white space”.
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Watercolor Butterflies

I plan to do this painting with my afterschool watercolor class tomorrow. For the first time in a long while, I painted directly with the Crayola watercolors from the tray, and found I liked the results much more than I anticipated.
1. I have a lot of students in 1st and 2nd grade, so I thought painting butterflies would be a good way to reinforce their school lessons on symmetry. To keep them from laboring over their shapes, I plan to give them templates for just one side of the butterfly, so they will need to trace them, flop them over, and trace the other side. They'll do this in pencil on heavy watercolor paper. When the paper is filled with outlines of butterflies, they will trace them heavily in crayon, and add symmetrical shapes to the wings. If time permits, I may show them how to do some “wet-on-wet” painting by adding some paint spots to their wet butterflies.
2. Students will get their own watercolor tray and cup of water. I'll have them get the tablets fairly wet before they color in their butterflies.
3. When the butterflies are done, they'll use liquid watercolors to get better coverage for their backgrounds. I’m going to recommend that they leave a little white space around the butterflies to brighten the art up, and more importantly, keep the colors from running together.
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Paul Klee Oil Pastel Landscape

I love the way oil pastels look on a sheet of acetate, backed with a nice black piece of construction paper.
1. Create or buy grid paper and show students how to draw a simplified city skyline with lots of squares, rectangles and triangles.
2. Have the students tape a piece of acetate to the front of their grid drawing and show them how to trace their drawing to the acetate with a black Sharpie marker.
3. The students are to color in the building shapes with oil pastels on the back side of acetate.
4. Lastly, the acetate drawing is placed in front of a piece of black paper to be displayed and enjoyed!
You have read this article 3rd grade / 4th grade / 5th grade / artist Paul Klee / oil pastel with the title February 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://anitalaydonmillersmiddlegradeblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/paul-klee-oil-pastel-landscape.html. Thanks!