Hundertwasser Flowers


Friedenreich Hundertwasser! Whew what a name. My third graders had a blast trying to say that one.

I have always had a love for Hundertwasser’s colorful creations. I love how the repetition of lines and shapes in his works almost make them look like they are vibrating on the canvas. Since spring has finally rolled around I was eager and ready for the kiddos to make some flowers. Usually we go traditional and do some oil pastel drawings and paintings inspired by Van Gogh but I came across Hundertwasser’s Hommage to Van Gogh and decided to try something different.


I started the lesson by having the students discuss and list out all the things that stand out to the them about the work.

Some only named colors, some focused on the lines, some the shapes but after about 10 minutes we had a pretty good variety of noteworthy aspects of this piece.

Then we made a list of what we felt was most important as a class. They decided on the following:

  • Repeating shapes
  • Repeating Lines
  • Circles
  • Squares
  • Black
  • Squished Shapes

I emphasized how the design didn’t look like a “perfect” vase of flowers and we talked about areas that they felt looked like “mistakes” but how once finished everything still looked good together.

Then we got to work.

I took away the pencils for this one. We started by drawing the vase and the designs on it. Then we did the flowers floating above it on the page and the petals around those. Students had complete freedom with choosing what colors I just guided them to change colors a few times when necessary so we didn’t end up with whole pages of nothing but pink or blue lines and shapes. Then we passed out the black and added all the detail lines and stems.

That was the end of day one for us. When they came back the next week they spent a few minutes at the beginning of class painting in the backgrounds and any unfinished areas with tempera cakes. These are adorable and I wish I could keep them all!




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