The tightly wound swirls, Egyptian-style eyes, pops of color, geometric shapes, and gold undertone are just a few of the many things that make The Tree of Life such a fun painting to study. 3rd graders loved learning all about this painting and artist, Gustav Klimt. One of my favorite Gustav Klimt stories has to do with his childhood. Gustav’s father was a coin-maker and when Gustav was little, he would sneak downstairs and shovel up tiny bits of excess gold dust left over from his father’s coin-making. Gustavwould sprinkle the gold all over his art. I showed 3rd graders where Gustav’s home in Austria was on the Artist Map.
This week was our drawing lesson. We started with 11×14 inch black construction paper and sharpened pencils. Step-by-step, I showed students how to draw a Gustav-esque tree with swirls that bounced off the limbs and branches. After drawing our first couple of branches together, 3rd graders got the hang of it and I let them run wild with the project.It’s hard to see the pencil lines on the black paper, isn’t it? Once the sketches were complete, students got to use my very special gold oil pastels to outline their pencil lines.Hooray for gold swirls! This project will get more exciting next week when we start to layer in gold paint, pops of color, and more. Stay tuned!