Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jumping Colors and Kandinsky Circles

Bear Paw Kids Art Lesson #3 - April 13, 2011

Our lesson today was about color complements, warm vs. cool colors, and Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian abstract painter.  First we closely studied one of Kandinsky's paintings so we could see how he put complementary colors next to each other and used warm and cool colors to make circles look like they could "jump" right off the paper.  
Color Study of Squares by Kandinsky 

For our paintings we decide to paint six circles inside six squares using four different mediums:  watercolor, oil pastels, gouache (an opaque type of watercolor), and tempera paints.  This will add some interest and give us a chance to experience different types of paints and the oil pastels.

Here Gretchen and Amy start their jumping circles by using watercolor paints in two of the squares.

Next, Gretchen moves to the tempera paints to fill another square.

The materials are set out around the table in six work stations.  As each student finishes using one type of paint, she moves to another station to use a different medium, and so on, until all six squares have been filled with circles.


Now Hailey is using the tempera paints,

while Melody is using oil pastels,

and Madyson is using the gouache.

Hailey's painting is finished and ready to mount on some backing paper.

And finally, all artists are done with their "Jumping Kandinsky Circles" and are rightfully proud of their great masterpieces.

Besides a painting, we also made Kandinsky pins to wear home and help us remember the special artist we learned about today.

Kandinsky's Circle


  1. You're art lessons and art students are great and I really enjoying these posts. I've been painting for years and there's always more to learn.

  2. Thanks, Sue. The level of enthusiasm children have for learning is refreshing and energizing, and this size group keeps things manageable and rewarding for everyone. The web resources for major artists are wonderful, including video animations of their art, high quality images, and background information on their lives and work.

  3. Betsy- You are doing an amazing job with the art lessons. The kids are learning about artists and their styles and also creating beautiful art pieces to take home with them. Your many years as an accomplished elementary teacher show in the lesson progression and product.What a wonderful opportunity for these young art students!