Learn how a young German artist created a strong statement in his brief career, with these Fantastic Franz Marc Art Projects for Kids.
When we think about the subjects of the works of famous artists, we think of humans, beautiful women, children, flowers, nature and still art. Yes, we see animals too, but let me ask you: have you seen any painting of animals like the one below?
When you first look at it, you’ll find it difficult to see the animals – it’s just a lot of harsh lines. But when you look closer, you’ll find that there are animals, quite a few of them in fact. But it doesn’t look like they’re in a peaceful setting. Although the details are not immediately clear, you get the feeling that there’s a lot of chaos; it creates a rather uneasy feeling.
If you were able to get that feeling, you’ve hit the bulls eye on what German artist Franz Marc intended through this painting, aptly titled, “Fate of the Animals”. He painted this as a premonition of what he expected to happen during World War I in Germany. He knew that it was going to be disastrous, and even inscribed on the back: “And All Being is Flaming Suffering”.
This is what Franz Marc did with his work – he expressed everything he felt. His emotions played a big role in how his paintings turned out, and we can see the transformation as he grew. When Franz Marc started out in art, he painted a variety of subjects including humans, but slowly he moved to painting only animals. He believed that animals were of a higher spiritual level than human beings, and deserved better representation.
Marc loved using bright colors in his work, and was greatly influenced by Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse and Robert Delaunay. Although he died young and had a brief career, he himself became a great source of inspiration for artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Paul Klee was one of his closest friends, and even restored part of the painting, ‘Fate of the Animals’.
Since 8th February is Franz Marc’s birthday, we thought this would be a good time to learn more about this amazing artist and his work, through these fantastic Franz Marc art projects for kids. Every painting of the artist says a lot through composition and color, so take the time to understand the art and go through each project carefully.
10 Fantastic Franz Marc Art Projects for Kids
Before becoming a painter, Franz Marc studied theology and philosophy, which explains the subjects in his work. He considered animals pure and free from corruption, unlike humans. That’s probably also why little kids have a special bond with animals, and they’ll enjoy this simple handprint art from Pink Stripey Socks.
Marc seemed to have a special love for the color blue. In fact, one of his most iconic paintings feature blue horses, and even Eric Carle made a book on it (more about it later). In 1910, Franz Marc founded an artists group which he named ‘The Blue Rider’, reaffirming his love for blue. Kathy’s Art Project Ideas celebrates this love with a gorgeous blue horse art project for kids.
As mentioned earlier, Franz Marc expressed his feelings through his art, and ‘The Yellow Cow’ is an example. This was painted soon after his wedding to Maria Franck, where the cow indicates stability, domesticity and love. A Glimmer of Light encourages little kids to try their hands at coloring their own yellow cows!
If you’d like to get crafty with Franz Marc’s work, then this project from Brashear Kids is perfect. It uses tissue paper to create animals in various settings. Kids can choose their favorite animal and create their own mystical backgrounds.
This is the book we were talking about earlier! Eric Carle is already a favorite among parents and kids, and in this book, he pays tribute to the talent of Franz Marc. The book has gorgeous illustrations in bright colors and all of them echo a simple but powerful message – Anyone can be an artist; there is no wrong way to create art.
Combining his studies of theology and art, Franz Marc came up with his own color key for representing various emotions in his work. Blue was for masculinity, yellow was for feminity and happiness while red was for danger or violence. He used a lot of primary colors, and kids can learn more about his color theory in this art lesson by Deep Space Sparkle.
Have you ever noticed how kids paint purple eggs and green sunflowers? To them, it’s not wrong – it’s just how they see things! That’s the same principle Franz Marc follows, which is why we have blue horses and yellow cows! Robin Norgren has a fun art lesson based on the yellow cow, which kids will enjoy.
Franz Marc did a lot of study and research before painting. He spent several hours at the Berlin Zoo, observing and sketching animals from different angles so he could understand their forms better. This project from the The Laughing Zebra features a horse in one of Marc’s favorite angles; turning towards the (horse’s) left.
The war played an important role in Marc’s life, and it was also the cause of his death. The Nazis did not like his work and destroyed a lot of it, although many paintings were later recovered and restored, like the famous ‘Landscape with Horses’. Art with Mre brings us another horse painting which uses the typical rounded forms in Marc’s paintings.
By now we know that Franz Marc did not believe in painting things ‘as they were’ but rather ‘as he saw them’. Pelikan has a project that celebrates this very idea. It takes The Yellow Cow as inspiration and shows different ways and techniques we can recreate this and make it our own.
A lot of Marc’s work will appeal to children, especially if they love animals. He painted all animals including foxes and tigers, but his favorites seem to be herbivores – horses, cows and deer. Maybe he found them to be more peaceful. Children will enjoy seeing animals painted in unconventional colors and they are bound to ask questions. Do encourage them – that’s how you raise someone who can appreciate various forms of art!