What is it?
“Chosen Site“, 1940, a painting by Swiss artist, Paul Klee
How was this painting done?
In this painting, the artist shows an indescribable mood. He has done this by the use of contrasting complimentary colours, red and green. The background recedes by the use of cool colours and Paul Klee has projected the buildings and foreground forward by using warm colours. Klee uses colour to create perspective in the painting.
As Paul Klee enjoyed childrens’ art and created with them often, his work has a childlike nature. Paul Klee’s artwork also shows a musicality which reflects his own childhood. The buildings are beautifully drawn with doodles and show a complete lack of structure.
Why should we care?
We can learn from Paul Klee because he was his own man. He was confident to paint in the way he wanted despite what his contemporaries were doing at the time. He drew from art movements such as Expressionism, Surrealism and Cubism yet retained his unique identity. Paul Klee was inspired by the simplicity he had seen in children’s art and this gave his work so much power.
Where can I find more paintings like it?
Meditate, relax and enjoy
There can be no mistakes in making this painting. Everything ends up as it should be. Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself, here’s how:
You will need
- a small canvas, 30cm x 40cm is a good size
- tubes of primary acrylic colours, blue, red and yellow plus white
- a dark watercolour crayon
- soft nylon paint brushes, (small, medium and a little larger)
- water in an old container
- a rag or disposable cloth
- an hour or two
Tips on the Process
- prime the canvas first, otherwise, just a wash and dry with a towel
- print the photo you want to work from, measure and cut into quarters to make your drawing in a grid
- turn the original photo upside down to make the drawing
- use a dark coloured water colour crayon for your drawing
- correct drawing right-side up from the original
- erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
- it is okay for the watercolour crayon mark to bleed into the painting
- everything is easily painted over with acrylics
- paint in the background first
- The painting will not look great at the initial blocking in stage, stay with it for a pleasant surprise
- try not to use paint directly from the tube; experiment with how to mix colours
- acrylics dry darker than the mixed colour
The Drawing Process
Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing first. This is just a framework to place the figure on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.
Otherwise, you may use my drawing below. I suggest you ask your copy shop to print the PDF below onto a canvas and proceed to make your own unique painting. Otherwise, you can print the copy on to good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it. It’s your painting after all!
This is my finished painting. I toned down the green background with a wash of cool red because I felt it was taking over.
I created an earlier watercolour craft post on Paul Klee some years ago.
Image accessed from https://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/chosen-site-1940, accessed 21/10/2016