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Composition IV by Kandinsky, 1911

Vassily Kandinsky was one of the first pioneers of abstract art.

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to show things realistically, but uses lines, shapes, colors and textures to show emotions and meaning.
Kandinsky was from Russia and initially went to law school. He was always fascinated by color and in his thirties, he decided to go to art school. Kandinsky thought showing the inner beauty was most important. He believed that color could express feelings like music does. He even thought that colors and shapes could represent sound. Look at some of Kandinsky's paintings.
  • What do you see in the paintings?
  • Do his pictures remind you of anything?
  • How do they make you feel?
  • Do you like this style of art?
Yellow-Red-Blue by Kandinsky, 1925

Create an Abstract Painting

Today I am going to show you how you can make an abstract painting inspired by Vassily Kandinsky's artwork. Grade Level: K-3 Materials:

Art inspired by Kandinsky (1)

1. Begin by drawing shapes and lines with a pencil. You can use stencils or other objects to trace shapes. Look at some of Kandinsky's artwork for ideas.

Art inspired by Kandinsky (2)

2. After your basic design is drawn with pencil, use tempera paints to color in some of the shapes and lines.

Art inspired by Kandinsky (3)

Feel free to add additional lines and shapes as you are painting. Improvise! 

3. When you have painted in some of the areas and are satisfied with the look, allow your painting to dry overnight.

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4. The next step is to use Dab and Dot paint markers to enhance your artwork with additional color.

Art inspired by Kandinsky (7) Dab and Dot Markers (1)

5. Slide the Dab and Dot markers across the paper to color in solid areas. Dab the markers up and down to create dots. Continue adding additional lines and colors until you are happy with your painting.

Art inspired by Kandinsky (8)

Of course, you could paint the entire picture with one type of paint, but I love how the two paint mediums complement each other and give the picture additional contrast and texture variation.

Art inspired by Kandinsky (9)

Here is my finished painting! Try it with your children or your students and see if they enjoy it.

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