Sunday, October 18, 2009

Klimt's Ladies & Gentlemen

This is a super fun art lesson from Deep Space Sparkle. Depending on how quickly your kids work, it may take two classes.

Supplies needed:

-gold paint & paintbrushes

Background information on Klimt that goes with our Powerpoint slides:

Gustave Klimt was born in 1862 and died in 1918. He was considered to be a Symbolist painter, meaning that his work emphasized imagination, dreams, symbols, and spirituality over realism, and his work was highly romantic.

He lived in Austria, and was born the second of seven children, the son of a gold engraver. When he first entered art school, his art was realistic, but as he grew artistically his work become more symbolic and mysterious. With his "Golden Phase", where he used gold leaf to make his paintings shine, he gained great critical success, but he was quite reclusive, and wrote little about his work. As he painted, he worked in a loose robe rather than normal clothes (kind of like some of the gentlemen he portrays).

After his death, his paintings have become incredibly valuable: slide # 3, Adele Bloch-Bauer, sold for 135 million dollars in 2007, the highest amount to date that someone has paid for a work of art.

Procedure: I followed the process described on the Deep Space Sparkle website, essentially having the kids first make a large drawing in pencil of either a man or a woman. We referenced the slides in the slideshow to talk about how their dresses and robes could be fantastical and loose - not too tied to reality in terms of depicting the shape of the body beneath. After they drew their figures, they colored them thickly with pastels (have them press hard to get vivid colors), then cut out the figures.

The final step is to cover a large piece of paper with gold paint. The paint can be solid or swirled - it's totally up to them, and if they want they can further embellish with pastels.

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