Kandinsky’s water color circles

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This whole month, we will be focusing on art appreciation, understanding the techniques of famous artists & then recreate it in a simple way. But how do I simplify it so that it interests a 5 year old.. and which work do I start off with? We have a lot of art prints hung throughout our office.. and in the meeting rooms my eyes are always drawn to this particular painting.. Wassily Kandinsky‘s Farbstudie Quadrate or Squares with circles.I knew this would be a hit with Lil P because she loves structure and she loves colors..

 Kandinsky’s water color circles


We started off by getting comfortable at the dining table.. Lil P’s friend S also joined us at the table for this art class. She is nearly 5.

We saw a couple of Kandinsky’s paintings.. and studied the technique for a while.. I asked Lil P what she noticed common in the few that I had shown her.. and she said I see circles.. and lines.. which was a good start in itself.



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I told her it was abstract art and that Kandinsky was a Russian painter who had pioneered it..

So the next question is what is abstract art? So I showed them a photograph of a flower that we had taken … That is a realistic art form.. where you can see that rose is not real.. but you can make out clearly that it is a rose.

Then I showed them this and Lil p said it was a city picture with the sun and the planets.. I asked S what she though.. and she said it looked like toys on the floor.. with books and ribbons.. and we all laughed.. so this is abstract art where the original picture that the artist had in mind is not clear.
we then moved on to actually painting .. we took A4 sheets.. and drew 12 squares approx 3 inches wide. A3 is more suited but younger kids will tire soon and so start off with smaller sizes. I told them that they could alternate between cool colors and warm colors.. and fill up each square.

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 The above completed picture is done by S .

You can see Lil P being extra extra careful and still coloring it.. She took her own sweet time to complete hers.. and I left her at the table while I attended an office call. The below picture is Lil p’s completed picture..  We alternated between using a paint brush & painting with our fingers. So much more fun!

You can try this at home using pastels, Color pencils or tempera colors. Or you can go completely abstract and make one like this by pasting..

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  1. This is simply stunning! Art appreciation by a 5 YO!!! I’m sure even Architecture students are not taught to do so…
    Have always loved Kandinsky’s work…Now loving it even better!
    Great job Shruti!

  2. @kala: 🙂 Not sure about that, she is very methodical.. But i’m glad that she is developing a love of colors.That in itself is a big deal.
    @Kannamma : The feel of squishy paint between fingers is addictive.. The kids loved it.
    @Jill – welcome here 🙂 I hope to keep seeing you here from time to time..

  3. Wow! MM…I mean Lil’P has clearly inherited your sense of art…superb..and I loved the way you explained the whole concept of abstract art..even I understood only after reading..thank you..next time someone asks me about abstract art, I can show off 🙂 hugs to Lil’P

  4. Beautiful job! We did our own Kandinsky’s Circles a month-ish ago and it was such a fun project!

    Stopping by from Kids Co-Op!

    Kristina @School Time Snippets

  5. I love the idea of alternating between cool and warm colours. Thanks for linking up to the Kids Co-op!

  6. Hi! Just letting you know that you are in my weekly showcase! Come on over and pick up your “Featured at Triple T Mum” badge. We go live with the showcase on 29 March, 9am (Pacific time).