Friday, November 14, 2014

Kandinsky Circle Paintings

Vassily Kandinsky's work has always fascinated me. How a seemingly random arrangements of abstract shapes and varied colours can look so interesting, fascinating and even beautiful. He has intrigued me for a long time, I even painted one of his least known paintings while attending university (many years ago) .
It wasn't until recently that I found out why.
Did you know he had a condition called called Synaesthesia? For Kandinsky, musical notes elicited certain colour pairings and he used this ability to try and capture on canvas, the visual equivalent of a symphony - WOW!


In my research for suitable art lesson stimuli, I came across many school art lessons that pay respect to this great artist and I started to wonder how I could incorporate him into lessons for my 4-6 year olds (Y1 and Y3).
Our completed murals - Y1 on the left and Y3 on the right. Next time I think I'll call it Kandinsky's Quilt :)

Again I cut water grade paper to A6 size (14.8cm x 10.5cm)
For my Y1 students I provided: wax crayons and liquid dye (or liquid water colour)
For my Y3 students I provided: wax crayons and tempera block paint

liquid dye - the students rotated around the table using the colours of their choice

The Y1's were required to draw concentric circles increasing outwards to the edge of the paper, aiming for a 2 finger gap between each circle.
The tempera blocks with the teacher model

The Y3's started with 3 dots randomly placed on the paper and then drawing the concentric circles and overlapping these as they went.

After learning about Kandinsky during our theory lesson, the Y1 students painted their rings with liquid dye colours of their choice while the Y3 students used the tempera blocks and aimed to change colour for every shape, resulting in a stained glass effect.




Put together the individual pieces made for a stunning mural in the Art Space.
I was able to observe and support/correct paintbrush grips and techniques, and students could use this small activity as skill practice for painting accuracy. It was also a perfectly manageable way to train students for wet work procedures in my room - using, managing, sharing resources, setting aside to dry and cleaning up.
Also - what to do if something went wrong. One student found that his adjoining colours ran together when he used too much, creating a new colour. I was curious what he would do/feel about this, having just shared the story - 'the beautiful oops' with the class. When he pointed it out I said: "wow - lucky you. You've made a beautiful oop!"
He grinned ear to ear and proudly continued on in a positive mindset on his journey of discovery.

Here are a few individual pieces:




I would love to know how you have explored Kandinsky with your students? Post a link below if you have made or seen a post about it :)


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