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Red Balloon, 1922 by Paul Klee

Paul Klee was an important painter in the history of modern art. I have always been drawn to his colorful, abstract pictures. Children can relate to the simple geometric shapes and bold colors. His art has been related to Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism. 

Castle and Sun, 1928 by Paul Klee[/caption] Swiss artist Paul Klee painted the Castle and Sun with simplified shapes, but viewers can easily see the way the shapes form a castle or city-like scene. For this lesson, we are going to paint colorful swatches of color and cut them into geometric shapes. Then, we will assemble them to make a building, castle or city scene. To start this project, look at some examples of Paul Klee's artwork, such as the Castle and Sun and Cat and Bird. You can pick up the book The Cat and the Bird: A Children's Book Inspired by Paul Kleewhich has many beautiful images reminiscent of his artwork.


Grade Level: K-3 Materials:

1. Start by creating swatches of color on the white paper by smearing or dotting paint with the Dab and Dot Paint Markers.

2. You can combine the dotters with watercolor paints. Paint patterns, solid colors, stripes or designs with the watercolors. Here I have painted purple watercolor stripes and some watercolor washes on top of the dots.

3. After the papers are dry, cut the paintings into geometric shapes of various sizes. Cut circles, rectangles, squares, triangles and arches.

4. (Optional) To add solid color pieces (but in an interesting way), cut out swatches of color from magazine pages. We also used scrapbook paper.

5. Now that you have a pile of shapes, arrange and stack them on your paper to create castles, towers and city buildings. Use glue sticks to adhere the pieces to the page. Here are my examples.

I love the look of magazine color swatches combined with the painted papers. The little ladder on the right side of the page was a design I found in a magazine!

Here is an example by my daughter who is in Kindergarten. She used some of the shapes I had cut out and then she cut out her own. She had the idea to use some of our scrapbook paper. Her picture turned out really fun!

Have you taught about Paul Klee's artwork before? Share in the comments!


  • This is great. I never thought of using for markets in this way!

  • My kids love these Dab and Dots Markers. I think we use them daily. Love the original projects the kids come up with using them. Thanks

    Sue Barrons
  • I have not Paul Klee’s art work before, The art project above looks like fun for little ones.

    Maria Leeker
  • Hi! My first graders LOVE to use Dab and Dots markers in our classroom! We use them at our art station in many unique ways, we use them to practice our spelling words and sight words, and they are excellent to use during math as “counters” in ten frames. ♡

    Patti Riedemann
  • How awesome! My daughter would love these!! I had never even heard of these till now!!


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