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Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Picturing Pets, Sunny

We commonly refer to dogs as everyone’s best friend, and for me, that’s true. But I have many other best friends, too, including my cat, my rabbit, and some nice people. Each has their own unique personality. Artworks can also have unique “personalities,” or styles. Artistic styles help us explain how artworks look and how they were made. There are many different styles of art.

Alex Katz’s Sunny #4, a larger-than-life portrait of the artist’s dog, is painted in the Pop Art style. Pop artists often used bold lines, flat shapes, and vivid colors in their artworks. Here, Katz used long, straight brushstrokes to paint Sunny’s hair, and for Sunny’s tongue, he painted a flat, pink rectangle.

Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin. © 2019 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Let’s make our own drawings inspired by Sunny!

Materials:

  • Paper (the bigger, the better!)
  • Pencil
  • Paint, crayons, markers, or anything to add color

Draw your own pet, or find an animal online that you’d like to draw. My cat Sebastian is modeling for me. The up close photo I have of Sebastian shows him with his tongue out like Sunny’s.

Imagine what shapes and lines you could use to make your animal. I see a circle for Sebastian’s head, ovals for his eyes, and triangles for his ears, nose, and mouth. My shapes are not perfect, just like Sebastian’s head isn’t a perfect circle. The whiskers will be long, curving lines that start in the middle and flow down across his face. Just like Sunny’s fur!

Now that I’ve drawn the shapes and lines as planned, I will add the eyes and more details to his face and his surroundings. I will then add color. Use bold colors, and follow the lines of the shapes that you made.

Sebastian likes plants just like Sunny, and he likes to chew on them. He’s a sassy cat!

What Sunny-inspired animal will you draw? Post a photo on social media, and invite us to check it out! Tag @MilwaukeeArt and use #MAMStudioAtHome.

Kohl’s Studio at Home activities are designed to be enjoyed with the whole family, regardless of age. Families can work together to learn new techniques and materials, and to explore creativity. As with all new things, provide your child the support and supervision that they need for their developmental level, practicing safe use of tools and materials. You know your kids best!

Brett Henzig is the Youth & Family Programs Educator. He manages the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio, leads school tour workshops, and teaches Youth Studio Classes and Summer Art Camps. Outside the Museum, you’ll find Brett making art, rescuing injured wild animals, and spending time with his wife, dog, cat, and rabbit.

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