Hundertwasser's Neighborhood

If you have never seen the work of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, you really must take a peek:

The Art of Hundertwasser
German Hundertwasser site
Dutch Hundertwasser site
Google Image Search

Books to use in class:
Harvesting Dreams: Hundertwasser For Kids
Coloring Book- Hundertwasser
* a caveat- be sure to preview any other books used with children, as they may have nude images

His bright, vivid colors and patterns, combined with his visionary architecture, were the inspiration for my third graders' oil pastel drawings.


images of Hundertwasser's work, dark construction paper (12" X 18"), light color oil pastel or chalk for drawing, handouts of various types of architecture, oil pastels for coloring

1. View the work of Hundertwasser and share a little about his life.
2. Let students choose a dark piece of construction paper to draw on. The images look very rich on darker shades, such as navy, burgandy, hunter green, and black.
3. Hand out images of architecture/ view images online. Be sure to include onion domes, as Hundertwasser used them in his own work.
4. Students will begin drawing at the bottom of their horizontal paper, making a row of buidings and houses that touch each other and the bottom of the paper. I emphasized that their building should reach about halfway up thier paper. Details were not added at this point- just the shapes of the buildings or trees and shrubbery.
5. Behind this row of buildings, a horizon line is drawn to make the "back yard" of the first row of buildings.
6. Upon this horizon line, another row of house/ buildings is added. This row extends toward the top of the paper, but students left room for a sky.
7. Another horizon line is added behind this row of buildings.
8. Details are added next; windows, doors, chimneys, clouds, stars, rainbows, apples on the trees, roofs, etc.
8. At this point, I demonstrated using oil pastels, laying down one color and blending another on top. Students were encouraged to use at least two colors for each object in their work. I also encouraged them to add some visual texture by varying the way they blended the pastels.

- Encourage students to add color to most of their paper, but allow them to leave some uncolored areas.
- Students may rush some of the coloring, but I encouraged them to add more layers and to press harder. Seeing the more vivid color made them excited to work on their project even more.

Some "Before" and "After" Neighborhoods

View more of our Neighborhoods at our Artsonia gallery.


  1. These are so lovely! What grade did you make them with?

  2. I am also doing a study on Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Wondering if you could tell me about the handouts of various types of architecture. Did you make them, if so, are you willing to share?

  3. I did draw up a few pages with doors, windows, basic house shapes, etc. It is soooo basic that I would be kinda embarassed to share! lol. Seriously, though, if you really want it, I could probably scan it and post it soon.

  4. i really, really do .... i have taught general education for several years ... but, am certified to teach art (my real passion). this is my first year, any help is AWESOME!!! Is there a way for me to pass along my e-mail to you without the entire world seeing???

    Also, I have looked to your blog often for inspiration ... thanks SO MUCH for sharing! I will have to share our Hundertwasser project with you when it is done!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I visited Vienna last year and, having never heard of Hundertwasser before, fell in love with his style. So my Year 6s will also be getting to know him soon :)


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