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Art Project for Kids: Kandinsky Inspired Circles

05.18.12 Art Project for Kids: Kandinsky Inspired Circles

kandinsky circles

Circles are gratifying. The natural world abounds in circular objects at every scale we can see. We look at circles everyday in each other's eyes: soulful orbs with concentric rings of circular irises and circular pupils. The circle, according to Kandinsky, is “the most modest form, but asserts itself unconditionally.” It is “simultaneously stable and unstable,” “loud and soft,” “a single tension that carries countless tensions within it.”

I have a wonderfully fond memory of spiraling up the ramp at the Guggenheim museum in NYC, viewing the Kandinsky retrospective with my then, 6 yr old daughter. She was thoroughly engaged and there wasn't a need to explain much to her. She delighted in seeing bold colors and shapes easily recognized from her own artwork. And I was mesmerized by the transformation of Kandinsky's work and his influences over time. If you're unfamiliar with Wassily Kandinsky, he was a Russian painter who began his career at the turn of the 20th century (at the ripe old age of 30, after dumping his law professor position and enrolling in art school).

If you're caught inside on a rainy day, try making some Kandinsky-style watercolor paintings! Time to paint!

  • Draw some evenly spaced squares on heavy watercolor paper or lighter paper if you are using colored pencils. I made the squares 4x4 so they are like tiles. ( I did this part for my daughter)
  • Using a beeswax crayon, draw a larger circle within the sqaure, and then continue to draw smaller and smaller ones inside.
  • Luckily, the beeswax acts like a barrier for the watercolor, so the paint doesn't blend into a frustrating mess for your kid. Now, with natural paint, watercolors or natural colored pencils, fill in the irregular forms. Think about contrasting colors, warm and cool colors, ranges of hues from the same color and value and how they effect the dimension of the form.

Are there any art exhibits that your kids were particularly excited about?

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