Family Activity Inspired by Karel Appel's Cats, 1978
Karel Appel was a Dutch artist whose work is characterized by his use of bright colors, simple forms, and expressive brushstrokes. His work emphasized a move away from formality in artmaking and an emphasis on creating a sense of dynamic energy.
In this moderately easy Family Activity, we'll walk you through how to make a portrait of your pet (real or imagined) inspired by Appel's Cats, 1978.
Getting Started (see Karel Appel works here)
– How do the colors in the images above make you feel?
– How do you think the cats in the paintings feel?
– What do you think the cats are doing?
Materials (see slideshow image 1)
– Mixing tray
– Water cup
– Sharpie/marker pen to draw outline with
– Alternatives to paint: markers or crayons
Pick your pet
Things to consider in the design of your artwork:
– What do you want your pet to be doing?
– How is your pet feeling?
– Where is your pet?
– What colors would highlight what your pet is feeling?
Tip: Find an image of an animal on the internet or take a quick photo to work from.
Draw your pet on the paper with a sharpie or dark marker pen, use quick, dynamic lines. (see slideshow image 2)
Pick a base color for your background and another for the body of your pet. (see slideshow images 3 & 4)
Draw or paint the body of your pet using quick lines or stripes. (see slideshow image 5)
Tips: Use different kinds of lines: thick lines, thin lines, curvy lines, or any other kind of lines you like! Try using a variety of colors that capture your pet’s emotions. Karel Appel focused on capturing the energy of cats, not creating a realistic picture.
Add some patterns or marks to the background to complete the picture. (see slideshow image 6)
Share your creation on Twitter or Instagram with #AKBeyondWalls and #MuseumFromHome!