Kandinsky Geometric Shape Painting

kandinsky_sample1I used a lesson from The Art of Education to introduce Wassily Kandinsky to my students. It seemed like a fine next-step in our study of line and shape. Although I adjusted a few of the lesson details to introduce more variety and to match more of the specifics of what my class was studying:

  • Students were to use two line directions in their work
  • Their lines could touch shape to shape, shape to edge, shape to line, or line to line
  • Markers were used to color the shapes’ details (see steps #9 and #10 below)

Breaking it Down

The steps of the project were straightforward enough:

  1. Class discussion about Kandinsky: his life and work
  2. Class discussion on geometric shapes (triangle, circle, square, etc.)
  3. Students select a geometric shape and draw it on half of a 3×5 card (must take up most of area on card)
  4. Students cut out their shape
  5. Teacher hands out 9×12 watercolor paper and students sign their names and class/section number
  6. Class discussion about basic composition principles (repetition, spacing, overlapping, etc.)
  7. Students trace their shape 5-6 times and then drew the same shape small inside the original (this created a shape inside of shape)
  8. Students trace all of the lines in Sharpie marker (I used both ultra fine and fine tip for different areas)
  9. Students select three of their shapes and color the inside: 2 with a primary color, 1 with a secondary color
  10. Students select a marker color they have not used yet (sorry, no black or brown) to color the outside shape for the remaining shapes in their design
  11. Class review of line types and line direction
  12. Students include 3-5 line types and two line directions
  13. Students trace their pencil lines with Sharpie marker as in Step #8 above
  14. Students use watercolor paint to complete their artwork by adding color the background or area behind their shapes

Next Year


Click to Enlarge

While working with my students, I started thinking of alternative approaches for this project. Over the Summer, I plan on exploring these options using my own kids as art idea guinea pigs <smile>.  I have done some research already after looking at Kandinsky’s work itself. As I come up with new ideas, I’ll be sure to post them for feedback.


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