Pick Out the Patterns

Pick Out the Patterns lesson plan

What happens when shapes and colors are repeated and organized? Stunning patterns emerge! This cool Klimt style makes gorgeous Valentine cards.

  • 1.

    Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter, was born on July 14, 1862. His work usually dealt with the themes of life, love, and death. He created many wonderful portraits in the process of exploring these themes. Klimt was responsible for founding the Austrian school of painting known as the Vienna Secession.

  • 2.

    Klimt’s work is known for its decorative qualities. The Vienna Secession is considered to be the Viennese version of the Art Nouveau movement, which is highly decorative, using pattern, stylization, and flowery ornament .

  • 3.

    Look closely at Gustav Klimt’s <EM>Emilie Floge</EM>, his <EM>Bildnis Fritza Riedler</EM>, or his most famous painting, <EM>The Kiss</EM>. Notice how he uses extremely complex patterns to fill in large areas of the paintings, while his faces and hands remain smooth and composed. Pattern is simply a repetition of a shape or shapes in an organized manner.

  • 4.

    To create a pattern drawing of your own, use Crayola Washable Markers to divide your paper into many smaller, irregular shapes. Look at Klimt’s artwork for pattern ideas. Use several different colors to create different patterns in each separate shape you make. Carefully place your colors so the overall picture is well balanced. Fill your entire page with patterns.

  • 5.

    Try making Valentines, Mother’s Day cards, or other gift accessories with these colorful designs.


  • Students examine the artwork of painter Gustav Klimt, founder of the Vienna Secession school of painting.
  • Children recognize the use of pattern in Klimt’s paintings.
  • Students create a drawing that reflects their understanding of pattern as the repetition of shapes.


  • Teachers may wish to preview Klimt’s work to select the most appropriate treatment of subjects for students.
  • Students with special needs may experience initial success by copying patterns from art prints.
  • Create luscious fabric designs in the Klimt style with Crayola Fabric Crayons.
  • Advanced students might include a person in the pattern drawing. Begin with a realistic drawing of a person’s face, then surround the face with colorful patterns, differentiating between their clothing and the background with color. For an authentic effect, experiment with large areas of gold in your drawing.