Monday, January 15, 2018

Friedensreich Hundertwasser Dreamscapes in Marker


Austrian artist, architect, ecologists and environmental activist, Friedensreich Dunkelbunt Regentag Hundertwasser (1928-2000), believed the straight line represented everything that is wrong with humanity. What a truism! 

Our 6-13 year olds did an amazing job conveying this belief in their imaginative, nature-centric, rhythmic landscape with houses. The classic Hundertwasser onion-dome roofs, lollipop trees, eyes and raindrops featured heavily, as did his use of complementary and analogous colors. Coloring with markers is more exhausting and time-consuming than one thinks, and we ended up spending three 90 minute classes on this project, but we are well-rewarded with these beauties!

Day 1: 
We looked at many of Hundertwasser's paintings and architecture and identified his use of line, shape and color, as well as the way he used repetition, rhythm, movement and overlapping. We practiced drawing in his iconic style with the help of a worksheet I had created for the kids. We practiced those raindrops, spiral lollypops, row house trees, and faces emerging from hills, as well as his use of line to create repetition and rhythm. No straight lines!

We then began our own imaginative dreamscape using all of these elements and thinking about filling our pages and balancing our elements in our composition.  We drew on marker paper in pencil and traced our lines in permanent black marker. 
Marker paper is rather thin and super smooth, allowing for a really even and easy application of color. Maker paper also absorbs less than does normal drawing paper, resulting in far more vibrant colors. A definite recommendation for any marker project!

Practice sheets
Beginning drawing our dreamscapes

Day 1: Dreamscapes in permanent black marker

Day 2: Adding color using the color wheel
Day 2:
We analyzed Hundertwasser's use of color. We noted that he often used complimentary (across from each other on the color wheel) and analogous colors ('neighbors' on the color wheel). We colored our landscapes using this same approach. It's a lengthy, mindful and detailed process. There were some complaints about hands hurting....but hey, all good things come at a price! Important for us was that all areas were colored in neatly and coherently, with no white paper peeking through. We were mindful of how we used our markers, preferring short, even strokes in order to create a uniform application of color without streakiness.

Day 3:
The coloring continued, and continued.... In this last step of coloring, we were careful to choose a few minor areas within our dreamscape which we would leave white. We chose these white areas carefully, as they result in emphasis, create contrast, while also allowing our eyes to 'rest' in an otherwise wild and colorful composition. Some of us chose to leave white window frames, doors, the whites of eyes and rain drops.

I'm so proud of these, and the kids were too!

 And here they are collaged by class:
8-12 year olds

6-9 year olds