Color studies are not limited to great artists like Wassily Kandinsky...they make fabulous painting projects for kids too!
Wassily Kandinsky was born in Russia, but worked as an artist in both Germany and France. He is famous for his ideas about music, color, art, painting, and their relationships. He often listened to music as he painted. His paintings were often driven by colors and shapes, and did not always look like objects. We learned a little about Kandinsky and his style, and then I let the children explore color and music while they created their own paintings!
- canvas (You can also use a sheet of paper. Sometimes, though, it is exciting for the children to use a "real" artist's canvas, both because it is a different medium and because it is special.)
- paints and brushes
- ruler and a pencil (optional, for older children)
- classical music
Easy How To:
1- Introduce Wassily Kandinsky. This website has many of his paintings and this website has a picture of his 1913 Colour Studies, which inspires this project.
2- Explain that Kandinsky felt like music and color could affect each other. He even said, "Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul." Play some classical music and ask your kids what color the music sounds like. Tell them that when you start painting, they will be painting the colors the music reminds them of.
3- If you have older children, let them use a ruler to divide their canvas into four quadrants. Your kids can then use the ruler to add layers of diamonds to the canvas. This was excellent straight-edge practice for my 6-year old and 4 1/2-year old. If your preschoolers are much younger, you may want to skip this step.
4- Play another short segment of music and ask your children what color it reminds them of. Let them get started painting!
We had lots of comments like, "Ooh! This part is definitely blue!" and "The music is telling me to paint red now!"
What's that? The music says to use your hands? Go right ahead!
5- Find somewhere to display your finished projects! Everyone here was very pleased with their work!
And it was so much fun, I had to make one with them:
Have you studied any famous artists? We have another Kandinsky project that we will do soon, but that will be another post! I feel like Kandinsky gives preschoolers and other kids permission to experiment with color and explore paint without feeling bad about their painting not looking like anything in particular. And seriously...every single canvas looks great on the wall!
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