Klee Coloured Chest of Drawers with Graduated Colour

Following a recent visit to a Paul Klee* exhibition, Annie Sloan was inspired to paint a number of Klee coloured chest of drawers with graduated colour – as shown above – here is how you can do it at home:
  1. Find a chest to upcycle with close fitting drawers (as above).
  2. Paint the frame with a dark shade of Chalk Paint™ – we chose Graphite.
  3. Choose two complementary colours for the bottom and top drawers – we chose Chalk Paint™ in Greek Blue for the bottom and Chalk Paint™ in Barcelona Orange for the top.
  4. Starting with the bottom drawer make gradual colour graduations using two colours.
  5. For the bottom drawer – we used Greek Blue on its own, for the next drawer up we mixed a
  6. small amount of Barcelona Orange in with Greek Blue, and so on, finishing with Barcelona Orange on its own for the top drawer.
  7. Starting with the bottom drawer make gradual colour gradations using those two colours.
For Australia and NZ, look for your nearest stockist of Chalk Paint™ here. Other countries click here to search for your nearest stockist.
Annie Sloan says:
What can I say about avant garde artist Paul Klee except he really knocks my socks off!” 
“… I’d forgotten how much he has influenced me until a recent visit to the Making Visible Exhibition at Tate Modern, on London’s South Bank. So seeing the Klee show spurred to me to produce new pieces and to think about the nature of colour. So what is the key to Klee? To my mind Klee was a great colourist and colour has always made a huge impact on me. He was a very measured artist, very thorough – though when you first see his work you think he is (oddly) lyrical and light, and quite slight. In fact when he gets into something he’ll do it again and again really understanding it. He’s actually quite a mathematical artist, which I really appreciate as I love the mix of art and science.

I love Paul Klee’s explorative understanding of colour and on seeing Greetings and Separation in the Evening I just thought ‘wouldn’t these translate into a lovely chest of drawers?’ These quite tiny watercolour studies (both painted in 1922 for his students) explore how complementary colours work together (Klee was a great teacher at the Bauhaus).

* Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a German water colourist, painter and etcher of fantastic works, mostly small in scale; one of the most inventive artists of the 20th century.


I was really struck by Greeting (above) in which Klee paints shutter-like bands of graduated colour across a page while differently coloured arrows flow up and down to meet (and greet?) As an exercise in using complementary colours, what I found interesting was the way in which he starts with orange at the bottom and ends with gluey-grey at the top. In between there is no colour, just white.”

To read more about this project read Annie Sloan’s story “The eye-catchy colours and lines of Paul Klee (2)” on her blog.
Look out for more Furniture Painting Projects from Annie Sloan soon here on Havven.

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