Thursday, August 26, 2010


When I was in New York in January I had the pleasure of seeing a large scale retrospective of Wassily Kandinsky's work at the Guggenheim on the last weekend it was up. I am SO glad I was able to catch the show before they took it down. I have always been a fan of his, but to see that many of his works up close and personal was a real joy.

This year I did a couple projects with classes based on his work.

The first I did with kinders. We viewed examples of his work and talked about how it was abstract. He was having fun and playing with shapes, lines, and colors to make something interesting to look at. Students identified different types of lines and shapes, as well as primary and secondary colors. I talked about how Kandinsky was very inspired by music and that he said that he saw music when he looked at colors.

This was also the kinders' collaborative project for the year. I talked about how they would have to be a good teammate and work well with another student. 

Each team got a large sheet of watercolor paper- 18x24".
1. Using a black permanent marker, students added different types of lines first, then different types of shapes.
2. Students then added primary and secondary colors with crayola markers to various parts of their composition.
3. After adding color, went over colored parts with brushes dipped in water to create the watercolor effect.

It's always interesting to see how the different teams approach the project. A lot of variety in the compositions and the use of color.

The other Kandinsky based project I did this year was with the 1st graders. They had been focusing on using and making tints and shades in a variety of media- pastels, colored pencils, watercolors, and crayons, so I thought we'd keep it going by doing it with tempera paints too. 

We looked at and discussed Kandinsky's circles painting.
The 1st graders had also done a lot of identifying and using primary and secondary colors, so this project allowed them to mix the secondaries with tempera paints.

1. Each student got a 12x12" sheet of paper and folded it into quarters and flattened it back out
2. In each square they painted a large primary color circle, inside each of those circles they painted another primary color circle
3. students then mixed their secondary colors and added a circle or two more inside each of the circles
4. students then mixed tints of any of the colors and added them either in the center of the circles or outside them
5. students then mixed shades and filled in the remaining areas

These projects can be displayed individually, but I choose to group each class's paintings so they made one large piece. 

1 comment:

  1. The student work is beautiful. Their choices of colors are also impressive. Don, what super students you have.