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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kandinsky Circles Watercolors

Today, in my after school art class, I decided to do a colorful project that was relaxing and simple, but with great results! This project is from one of my favorite blogs: Art Projects For Kids and it uses my favorite medium: watercolors, and is based on the art of one of my favorite artists: Kandinsky.

Kandinsky was born in Russia and was originally a lawyer. When he was thirty he decided to leave that profession and become an artist. His paintings and color studies are gorgeous and full of life. They are a neat look at abstract art for children because the paintings allow for quite a discussion! Kandinsky LOVED color and explored the way color could make people feel and think. For example, how do you create a painting about war without using images that people normally associate with war? What about the feelings that fighting and war conjure up?
The piece we used for inspiration.

This project is based on some of his color experiments. I hope you enjoy it--we did!

Supplies Needed:
  • Watercolor paper, ours was 8 1/2" x 12 1/2," I used Arches brand, cold press
  • Masking tape
  • Foam core or heavy cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Crayons, assorted colors
  • Watercolors
  • Paint brush
  • Water bucket and paper towels
Directions:

1. Cut out an 8 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle of watercolor paper and, using the masking tape, tape it to the foam core board. This will keep the paper from buckling as it dries.

2. Divide the paper into 4" squares. Use the pencil and ruler and make light pencil lines. We had two rows of three squares.

3. Use a crayon to go over the lines you just made. Press down firmly to make a heavy crayon line. Then take the crayon and make a series of concentric circles in each of the six boxes. We did about four rings in each section.
This picture shows the crayon circles within each of the six sections.

4. Starting with the lightest watercolor (yellow, if you are using it), fill in the rings of the circles. Don't work on one box at a time, jump around the paper and do all of the rings you want to be yellow at once. This gives the paint a chance to dry. Work with the watercolor paints in order from lightest to darkest (this minimizes the chance the colors will get all mixed up and yucky in the paint trays).

See how the child isn't just working on one set of circles within one square?
Working on the entire piece at once allows the paint to dry and minimizes
the chance that the paint will bleed between sections.

5. Keep going until all the circles are painted. Leave the piece on the board until it is completely dry. Gently peel the tape off of the piece, frame and enjoy!

I am so proud of the students in my art class! These pieces look fantastic! Good job everyone!




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