Kandinsky for Kinders

I love this color mix­ing les­son inspired by Russ­ian artist, Wass­ily Kandin­sky! Kandin­sky was an accom­plished musi­cian as well as an artist, so it’s fun to play music while the stu­dents are work­ing. You can do vari­a­tions of this les­son for just about any grade level. Here is what I do for Kinder­garten and 1st grade.… per­fect for allow­ing stu­dents to exper­i­ment and just have fun with mix­ing col­ors, tints, and shades.

Mate­ri­als:

  • 12x12 white con­struc­tion paper
  • Tem­pera paint: red, yel­low, turquoise, white, black
  • Water and containers
  • Brushes
  • Paper plates for palettes
  • Paper tow­els

Direc­tions:
1. Fold your 12x12 paper in half, then in half again so that you have 4 equal squares.
2. Turn on some music to sim­u­late how Kandin­sky would lis­ten to music while he painted.

3. Start by paint­ing the perime­ter of a sec­tion, round­ing the inside cor­ners and leav­ing a white (unpainted) cir­cle inside.
Your goal with this project is to mix as many dif­fer­ent col­ors as pos­si­ble, so keep that in mind as you work.
4. Now, paint four or five cir­cu­lar lines (it’s okay if they’re not per­fect cir­cles!) inside that sec­tion.
5. Keep mix­ing new col­ors, try­ing not to use the same color in more than one spot. Use all five of your paint col­ors to mix sec­ondary and inter­me­di­ate col­ors, tints, and shades. (Try to rinse your brush only when nec­es­sary — you don’t have to rinse it with every color change. After rins­ing, dab your brush on a paper towel to remove any excess water.)

6. Con­tinue paint­ing one sec­tion at a time in this same way. Keep paint­ing cir­cles until there is no white paper left showing!

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8 Responses to Kandinsky for Kinders

  1. Siem April 13, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Great job!
    My kids did the same thing lately at their school. And the school filled with this col­or­ful art was really very nice.

  2. I love using Kandinsky’s paint­ings as a ref­er­ence to teach col­ors and lines.

  3. Jackie January 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    How many class peri­ods did this take you?

    • Cheryl Trowbridge January 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Hi Jackie — This project took just one 50 minute period, as do most of my lessons for Kinders!

  4. Michelle February 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Hi Jackie,
    How would you mod­ify this les­son for Grade 4 –6? I have a Girl Guides Unit that I would be doing this with. Thanks so much for your help.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge February 11, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Michelle, when I do this les­son with my 5th graders, I use 12x18 paper and divide it into 12 squares. It usu­ally takes them 2 — 50 minute ses­sions to com­plete the project. ~ Cheryl :-)

  5. Ellie November 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Could you make a Kinder les­son inspired by Aelita Andre, please? I am try­ing to tie dif­fer­ent cur­ric­u­lar areas on my topic and I find this lit­tle artist to be a good fit. I am hop­ing learn­ing about an artist their age will inspire them to engage more on art, exper­i­ment and think out­side the box.

    Thanks, Ellie :)

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks for your com­ment, Ellie! I wasn’t famil­iar with this artist, so I googled her and dis­cov­ered how fas­ci­nat­ing she is! http://www.aelitaandre.com/#!about/c10fk I would love to cre­ate a les­son inspired by her. Thanks for sug­gest­ing it.… stay tuned!

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