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:

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

Directions:
1. Fold your 12×12 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 12×18 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 :)

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