Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hundertwasser-Inspired Landscapes

My sample of the landscape to help guide the students
Lesson Background:

I was looking for a different way to do some self-portraiture in the first weeks of the new school year and decided that getting my students to use photographs instead of just drawing or painting themselves might be a nice change.  I was then inspired by a lesson from the Field Elementary Art Blog-

Lesson Materials:

Hundertwasser biography and images of artworks
Acrylic paints
2 sheets A3 art paper per child
1 sheet coloured A3 backing paper per child
Coloured textas
Water containers
Newspaper (to keep the tables clean)
Colour printer

Lesson Steps:

1.  We looked at the life and art of the Austrian artist, Hundertwasser.  We discussed what could be seen in his paintings and why he might have painted in such an abstract way.  The use of colours, lines and shapes were also explored.
2.  After revising the concept of warm and cool colours, students painted an A3 sheet of art paper with wavy cool colours using acrylic paint.  They were allowed to etch patterns into their painting using the end of their paintbrushes.
3.  The students then painted a sheet of warm colours in the same way.
4.  The paintings were left to dry.
5.  Students were told that they were going to be "caught inside" their artwork landscape and to think about what they would like to be doing inside their painting, if they really were caught in such a landscape.  They then posed for photos.
5.  The students selected whether they wanted their background colours to be warm or cool and then chose a matching A3 backing sheet (pink, yellow, orange, blue or green paper).
6.  They cut up strips of their chosen background colours (either warm or cool) and stuck 3-4 wavy strips of their colours onto the backing sheet.
7.  They then filled in the gaps with patterns (spots, circles, spirals, criss-crossing, stripes, etc) using textas in either warm or cool colours to match the backing sheet.
8.  With their left over painted sheet (either warm or cool) they cut out circle and rectangle shapes to make trees and flowers and stuck these onto their artworks (I told students they could cut them out with or without first tracing around circles they found around the room, such as drink bottles, pencil tins, gluesticks, counters, etc).  I encouraged them to make their trees or flowers with concentric circles made up of contrasting colours to really make their trees and flowers stand out.
9.  The students then used their cut-out posed photos to paste themselves into their artwork.  The goal I gave them was to really try and make it look like they had been captured inside it or were living in that particular landscape.  I think they did quite well!
NOTE:  If I attempt this artwork again, I would try to aquire some higher quality acrylic paint, as the colours of the school paints I used were not as vibrant as I would have liked (you may notice the paint I used for my sample artwork was much more vibrant-- it was my own more expensive paint from home!)

Year 1/2 Student Artworks:

By Ashley (Year 2)

By Jasmine (Year 1)

By Eve (Year 1)

By Georgie (Year 1)

By Paige (Yeat 1)

By Austin (Year 1)

By Al Zahra (Year 2)

By Alex (Year 2)
By Kayla (Year 1)

By Dora (Year 2)


  1. this was fun fun fun!

  2. I just saw this post and see that you referenced back to my blog. Thank you so much and your artworks look great! What a treat!