“A line is a dot that went for a walk…” Paul Klee
Castle and Sun, 1928, is an innovative abstract cityscape painting from Swiss artist Paul Klee.
This is a great art activity that includes printmaking or in kids’ language – stamping with blocks!
As blocks are used, children of all ages are able to construct their own little cities! You can also choose to paint your own cityscape – as the youtube video at the end of this page demonstrates.
When using wooden blocks take care as they may stain – especially with red colors. We don’t mind as our wooden blocks have been around the block a few times… Plastic blocks would also work – as would any shaped item you can find – little cardboard boxes would work a treat!
Materials needed to make your own Castle and Sun
- Wooden Blocks like these
- Kids Paint. We used neon paints like these. You can use regular colors like this and of course, children can use any tempera or acrylic paint. Whatever you have available.
- Big format white cardboard. We used A3 size.
We talked a little about the artist Paul Klee and his life. There are so many wonderful online resources to use. I have added my three favorite youtube videos to the end of this post.
We started off by placing blocks onto the cardboard. This literally explained how many little blocks can be placed together to build an entire city. It makes it visually understandable.
Then we got printing. Some art activities children like more than others. Printing is always a winner!!
Once the paintings were dry we added a few outlines to some of the blocks to emphasize bigger buildings.
We also added a tree or two! This is an optional extra detail.
I’ve added some YouTube video resources to use;
Artrageous with Nate introduces us to Paul Klee and his life story:
This video by Art with Mati and Dada talks about Paul Klee and his famous painting Cat and Bird, including an introduction to rules of composition… This video is made for Kids!
This video is an introduction to the painting Castle and Sun specifically. Imperfect Paintings uses blocks to explain how things become shapes. This is where we started too! This artist paints his own beautiful version of this painting. We used the blocks to print.