Art School | Kandinsky Kids

by , posted on January 7th, 2013 in Art School

We are going to combine music into our art lesson today. It’s pretty exciting, and the outcome is really neat.

Supplies: drawing paper, oil pastels, ruler, pencil, music player (ipod, cd, etc)

A little background on our artist first. Wassily Kandinsky was a very famous Russian artist, specifically a painter. He was born in Moscow in 1866, and lived until 1944. As a child Kandinsky was fascinated by color, and this fascination grew as he got older. He believed each color had it’s own language and soul. It’s also very important to note that he was a skilled musician, and wrote that “music is the ultimate teacher”. When he listened to music he heard colors and then conversely he saw music in colors. Kandinsky’s Colour Studies is a wonderful place to start for inspiration.

[image source]

We will be listening to classical music while we create our own Kandinsky Colour Studies, just as Kandinsky himself listened to music as he painted. If you already have classical music on your iphone or ipod, great. If not, you can do what I did and find a Classical station on Pandora. Before we began I asked my 6-year-old daughter to close her eyes and listen to part of a song.

We talked about what colors we saw in our mind during the different parts of the song, parts of a song may sound cheerful, other parts may sound quiet, or sad. And then discuss which colors you would attach to different sounds. She quickly picked it up and all of a sudden I would hear her say “oh this is SO green! A bright green!” or “hmmm, I think this is more of a light yellow for sure”. Once your child is comfortable it’s time to begin.

Using a ruler and a pencil lightly, divide your paper into 4 sections, a line across the middle horizontally and one in the middle vertically.

With your oil pastels, and of course, while listening to your classical music, choose your colors according to what you hear. Start in the center where your four center triangles will meet to create a diamond. Draw a straight line, filling in the triangle you created. Fill in all four triangles creating the center of your piece and then move outward filling in your trapezoids.

Keep changing colors along with the music. You’ll probably listen to several songs throughout this piece and it’s really interesting to see the artwork unfold.

Once complete admire your very own Colour Study! Here is my first grader’s interpretation.

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6 Responses to “Art School | Kandinsky Kids”

  1. Jillian in Italy Says:

    January 8th, 2013 at 3:50 am

    This is brilliant. Deborah, you have the most amazing ideas when it comes to teaching kids about art.

  2. Deborah Says:

    January 8th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thank you Jillian! So nice to hear when people enjoy them. :)

  3. Penelope Says:

    July 30th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    We just did this, and it was great! Thanks so much for all your art lessons. We’re going through each of them for our homeschool art class this year. :)

  4. emily Says:

    October 30th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    thank you so much for the lesson idea! my school is preparing for an artist unit study, and Kandinsky is our chosen artist.

    Deborah Reply:

    That’s great to hear Emily! Hoping the kids enjoy the lesson.


  5. Learning Notes for the New Year 01/05 to 01/09 | Saipan Homeschool Says:

    January 5th, 2015 at 5:56 am

    [...] with the 2nd grader and finished up Journey to the Center of the Earth and then an art lesson on Kandinsky through this great site that was recommended by a friend [...]

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