Art Appreciation

5 Wassily Kandinsky Activities For Kids

How drab would the world be without a touch of oddity? Wassily Kandinsky works of whimsy were not simply a product of his imagination but instead simply a representation of how his condition of Synaesthesia allowed him to see sound.  While spending an entire week studying Kandinsky we were able to follow an individual who suffered from a disability and transformed it into a super-ability.  

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Day One- Kandinsky VS Impressionism

Discussion:

The week before Kandinsky we discussed and practiced impressionist art styles. Kandinsky was a great transition into a more modern style of art.  At first he was classically taught by great impressionist artists of his times but then transitioned to a more modern vibrant style. 

This style is considered post-impressionism.  He used more texture like Van Gogh and had a bright Fauvist flare like Matisse.

Activity: Geometric Shapes Go Abstract

Inspired by this free Crayola Lesson I wanted the kids to play with shape and color while listening to a more upbeat form of music. At the kids’ work stations was:

Playing on the TV was fun and upbeat pop songs safe for the kiddos.

  1. While listening to the music the kids were encouraged to draw first with their pencils and geometric tools. Circles, triangles, segments, squares.
  2. And then they painted!
  3. An alternative to this would be to have them trace the lines in clear gel glue and allow time to dry before adding the paint!

Day Two- The Boy

Discussion:

I started today reading a book called

The Noisy Paint Box. Beautifully illustrated, this story sparks the curiosity in its readers of exactly what was that song heard by the story’s protagonist?

  • Was the music he heard real?
  • Was the music coming from the box, his imagination, or somewhere else?
  • What kind of music do you think it was?

After the discussion of theories, I read the short bio included at the end of the book, and the kids learned about Kandinsky’s unique ability to see sound and hear color. How could we paint music?

Activity: Circles!

This lesson that I found on Small for Big allowed the kids an opportunity to experiment with blending colors independently.

  1. With a little assistance, we drew 12 even boxes on the paper with the ruler.
  2. With one color per box, the kids painted a solid circle that just touched the edges of the box.
  3. As more circles were added the colors began to cling onto one another and seep into each other’s zone.

This is a great opportunity to merge science with art and discuss observations made on the movement of liquid particles.

Once completed the kids wanted to do it again, so I allowed them to do as many squares as they liked the second round (so long as the squares were evenly drawn with rulers.)

Day Three- The “Dis”-ability


Discussion:

Activity: French Horn

To connect them further with this condition we discussed in what way Kandinsky translated the sounds he “saw color when he heard music, and associated a color’s tone with musical timbre, hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound.” (art.com)

  1. With this in mind, the kids were all given a sheet of paper with a french horn traced onto a portion of the page.
  2. With watercolors, they painted the french horn itself and then surrounded it with the colors and patterns of tone, timbre, and movement of the sound it made.

Day Four- Circles


Discussion:

I started this day with a quick fun video that illustrates the movement of music and Kandinsky’s art.

We took a moment to observe the painting of Squares with Concentric Circles. What are some observations we can make about the color patterns of this painting? Was there an activity we did earlier this week similar to this painting?

 

Activity: Art Reinterpretation

Using their own color combinations the kids were to paint the circles within the squares using Crayola washable paint.

With the image of Squares with Concentric Circles up on the screen, the kids are to once again trace out 12 squares on their paper. From there they are free to imitate the painting to the best of their abilities, using their own color concepts.

Day Five- And More Circles!

Looking today at the picture several circles I was inspired by a Georgetown Elementary teacher.

  1. We started out with a slip of paper cut about 2 and a half inches wide and 8 and a half inches long.
  2. On the paper, they used their compasses to draw as many circles as they wished in varying sizes.
  3. They then painted over the lines carefully in black paint.

While that dried I really wanted to introduce the kids with the concept of using oil pastels now while they were working on a smaller work surface and with an art style they now felt confident with. We practiced on a sheet of paper blending the colors and applying pressure to influence the vibrancy of the markings. Then we watched this quick time-lapse video:

4. When the paint dried the kids filled in and blended their own oil pastels. The results were rich and beautiful!

 

Other painters who turned their disability into an artistic super ability would be Frida Khalo, Henri Matisse, & Andy Warhol.

That is all for today in the House of R!

Planning to try these great works?! I want to see!! Feel free to post all masterpieces to Instagram, tag it #H2UArtRoom

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0 thoughts on “5 Wassily Kandinsky Activities For Kids”

  1. I’m impressed with what I’d describe as a holistic way of teaching. There’s not just an art project, there’s talking about how things make them feel, playing soecific music , etc. it all comes together to make a project so much more meaningful. And I’m a midlifer but I’m going to get my acrylics out and try the circle piece! Keep up the great work, the world is blessed to have people like you who put so much thought and effort into projects with children.

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