Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist, printmaker and art theorist whose works were among the first to herald the modernist movement in art. Since childhood, he was deeply fascinated by colour and shapes and this is reflected over the many artistic phases of his own career. The following provides information on Wassily Kandinsky's art experiences that can be created by children.
Kandinsky was also one of the earliest figures to approach art as an integrated creative expression that not only engages the sight but also other senses like olfactory and auditory. Indeed he identified himself as a “synaesthete” which means he could “hear colours” and “see sounds”. He was deeply interested in how the colours made him feel and used different colour combinations to evoke emotions.
Among Kandinsky’s most famous works are Several Circles, 1926 which depicts a series of circles in different sizes and vibrant colours. This can make for a great starting point to introduce Kandinsky to children because of their inherent attraction to bold colours and increasing engagement with shapes. To make Kandinsky Circles with chalk pastels, children will need:
- Black pastel, cardstock or construction paper cut in at least squares of 5.5 x 5.5 inches
- Chalk pastels in bright colours.
- White glue
- Paper towels for cleaning up
Have kids use their pencils to make a series of concentric circles on black paper. They can then trace their circles with white glue which keeps the pastels from blending into each other. Once they start to trace with the glue, it’s important that their paper is kept flat. If they pick it up and tilt the paper, the glue lines will run into each other. Also, remind kids that glue spreads as it dries, so as not to make the glue lines too thick. After the glue has had time to dry, it’s time to colour in the circles with chalk pastels. Have kids plan out their colours before they start, this will help things go much more smoothly. Start by colouring in the centre circle first. Using their fingers, kids can smudge the colour around the circle staying in the glue lines. For children who don’t like to use their fingers, Q tips or cotton balls can be used to do the smudging.
Kandinsky Shapes Collage
Another of Kandinsky's famous paintings is Weiches hart which depicts several geometric shapes including triangles in descending order. Encourage children to make a Kandinsky-inspired collage which will just need a sheet of construction or pastel paper in a bold colour, pastel paper in different colours, pencil and glue.
Help kids to cut out circles, triangles, squares and crescents in different sizes from the pastel papers and then stick on to the background.
The best part about a modern artist like Kandinsky is the rejection of realism so let kids have fun pasting shapes wherever and whatever order they like!
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Kandinsky Facts For Kids
Easy Kandinsky Art For Kids With Chalk Pastels