Paul Klee Inspired Cityscapes


Paul Klee has long been a favorite artist of mine.  I love how he uses geometric shapes, lines, and colors.  His art is very playful and my kids love seeing his work in either print form (I have some in my room), or displayed on the Promethean board.

I wanted my students to create a cityscape using geometric shapes and oil pastels.  As a beginning art teacher I have read lots of blog posts by fellow art teachers.  I knew, from reading, that some art teachers do not teach oil pastels correctly.  I was given the message to stay away from the following: drawing an image on black paper, tracing image with white glue (dries clear), and coloring in the spaces with solid oil pastel colors.  Very boring, indeed!  This kind of lesson does very little to tap into what these oil pastels can do, and quite frankly is a little like making your own coloring book page and having to draw inside the lines.

For this lesson, we first discussed geometric shapes. Then we discussed the need for balance in our work.  We even talked about the composition and how a viewer’s eye travels around.  The kids loved looking at my iPhone.  Every one has taken a picture on their parent’s phone.  They have noticed the large grid in the screen, but now they saw this grid has a purpose.

For this lesson, we practiced blending with our fingers and I encouraged my students to play around with the colors to see what they would do.  For our rough draft, I had students draw their buildings, experimenting with different shapes, and getting a feel for what their cities would look like.









I just love seeing all the beautiful colors.


I really like the variety in the students’ work.  Their cityscapes all look very different and each have a little bit of personality.  Students had a lot of fun blending the oil pastels and look forward to working them more.  My plan is to purchase a class set of Portfolio Oil Pastels.  They are a little on the pricy side, but they are beautiful in color, great to blend with, and you can add water to make them into paints.  Fun!

Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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