Monday, January 17, 2011

Paul Klee project-Tissue paper face

This project is a fun one, and good for a variety of ages, plus it really captures the Paul Klee style. The secret ingredient is bleeding tissue paper. I use the Spectra Deluxe Art Tissue from Nasco Art Supplies. I have also purchased some art "bleeding" tissue paper at Michaels which did not bleed, so I am not sure if that is the problem with other art tissues or not.

Spectra Deluxe art tissue
dark crayon
watercolor paper (I use the Canson Montval 11x15 Student Watercolor Paper from Nasco)

Students start by drawing a simple Paul Klee style face (see sample). Go over the pencil lines in a dark crayon. Then use tissue paper cut in about 2 inch squares to cover drawing brushing water under each tissue square. You need to be careful to get enough water down to make the tissue bleed but not so much that the water puddles.

Let the tissue dry a few minutes and then peel off. You will have beautiful soft color that is blended here and there.

A second project I often do at the same time is the same process using symbols instead of the face for the initial drawing. It is a great way to introduce the use of symbols in art and to reference Paul Klee's use of them. On a seperate sheet of paper I have them practice a variety of different symbols and lines, using some of Paul Klee's art as a sample. Once they have an idea of which lines/symbols they want to use they follow the same process as the face project.  I often have the kids choose either warm or cool colored tissue paper for this project or you could do all colors like the face project.


  1. I tried this project with adult students with special needs. They experimented with tissue paper and crepe paper and were very pleased with the results. Thanks for the idea. I love your blog.

    1. Thanks Sue for the nice comments-this is a fun project!
      Edna :)

  2. lovely idea.Thanks for posting this. will try this with 2nd graders and post the result

  3. I love this one, too and would like to include it in my post.