I used our study of Paul Klee to teach my sons about the colour wheel and the way in which artists can utilise colour theory in their artwork. They knew about primary, secondary and tertiary colours already so we had a quick refresher on those. We then discussed colour values changing tones and shades depending on the addition of black and white and their use in monochromatic colour schemes; analogous and complementary colours; colour triads; and warm and cold colour schemes. I then introduced the boys to examples of Klees paintings and we looked at the way in which he had deployed colour theory in each painting, sometimes using more than one kind in the same painting. We chatted about what impact each colour scheme had on the viewer of the art work, their interpretation of and response to the imagery.
My 12 year old decided to draw a Minecraft Creeper which is predominantly green. It usually has black detailing but he decided to use complementary colours and so those details became red.
My 9 year old also used complementary colour theory. He dashed off a quick abstract drawing using blue and orange markers. I think the shapes were also inspired by Klee.
My 8 year old drew a trio of dancing zombies, each one using elements of a different type of colour theory: tonal values, triad and analogous.
My 6 year old just had fun exploring juxtapositions of different colours. He drew a monster onto a book page I gave him.
Googling “colour theory” and “Paul Klee” had led me to find a website with a fun lesson for kids involving them creating versions of Paul Klee’s cityscapes using book pages as a substrate. I decided to use that as the basis of an art journal page – hoping that I might inspire the boys to try something similar. I used the complementary colours of green and red since both are colours I don’t use much.
My kids returned to school at this juncture in the project so we will be picking this History of Art project up on weekends and breaks from school until we complete it. We just plain ran out of time. The best laid plans of mice and men – or of mothers and art supplies.
Hop on over to my other blog to see my Klee inspired bunny.