kandinsky’s circles

N was on my lap while i was at the computer yesterday. (typical.) i was doing a google search for a random rug i’m trying to find that’s been out of stock for far too long to find it.¬†[humph.] anyway, kandinsky’s circle painting happened to come up in the search, and N was attracted to it immediately when she saw it. “ooooh, let’s make that!” she said.

wassily kandinsky, colour study: squares with concentric circles

to begin, i used a thick, black sharpie to draw circles onto a piece of thick drawing paper (we we’re out of watercolor paper) and then i gridded them off into boxes. this gave N some framework in which to paint, though it isn’t a necessary step. in hindsight, it would have been awesome to use watersoluble crayons (easily one of my favorite media ev-ar!!!) or watercolor pencils for these guidelines. even using pastels or crayons would be cool because they’re colorful and resist the watercolors.

i offered her pans of watercolors, matte and metallic, just for fun. i showed her how to make concentric circles with the brush, and she was off and running with it on her own. (oooh, six mandalas…)


after she finished the first piece, she wanted to draw her own circles with the sharpie and paint them in, which she did.

this one reminds me of murano glass.

while she was doing that, i drew some concentric circles with the marker on another page. after she finished painting, she said she wanted to color those with crayons.

such lovely bubbles of mixed-media color – she loved our pollock painting, and here’s another masterpiece a la the late greats.


printer friendly printer friendly
  • Lovely circles, good job! Karen
    Sippy Cup Central

  • I am going to try this with my son! He started Kindergarten last week and I am hoping to have something creative for him to do at home (or physical once it cools down a little here) and I think this would have the perfect amount of structure and freedom for that time of day. Sometimes he gets overwhelmed and a little direction is helpful, then he really starts to be creative and do his own thing!

  • I love that idea! We will try this for sure!

    Tricia ūüôā

  • My favourite is the free formed one that Novi drew herself. This would look great painted on to fabric and then sewn into something or used unsewn as a scarf or wrap for a doll.

  • Gwee

    ooh, i love it. looks like N had so much fun creating her masterpiece!

  • Lateria

    I did this with my kids and they LOVED it! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, I’m looking foward to doing more of your projects with the kids.

  • Pingback: Things to Write Home About ‚Äď 8/22/10 | Feels Like Home()

  • Found this page from a link from Adventures of Bear. Her artwork is just beautiful!!!

  • I love Kandinsky’s paintings and they are so perfect for inspiring children to create.

  • Marlena

    What a fantastic, everyone can do it art project! Love it!

  • love it

  • I love this. It is such a wonderful idea. My daughter does the same thing – points at things on the computer and asks to make the projects that appeals to her. I haven’t visited you blog before, I really, really like it. Definitely following now.

  • Antonio P√©rez Carballo


    Kandinsky’s compositions have always fascinated me, in
    particular his works of the Bauhaus period. I have often asked me about the
    cultural background behind these images. The reading of this book, now in
    Kindle format, has clarified me a lot of things. I would recommend it to the
    people who are interested in Kandinsky’s theoretical inspiration.
    Unfortunately, the title is only available in Spanish. Antonio Pérez Carballo

    los fundamentos del arte abstracto y su relación con las ciencias
    experimentales‚ÄĚ. Luis L√≥pez Garc√≠a, E-book, Amazon

  • maggy

    I adore Kandinsky! And I love all the different ways you have recrated the artwork. Beautiful. We are sure to explore Kandinsky during this series.
    Thank you for joining us on our Arty journey and sharing on Kids Get Arty!Maggy

  • Rachelle

    We are totally going to do this! Kandinsky is a favorite of mine and N is at just the right age to get this and take it somewhere interesting. xo

  • thanks maggy! great link up today, and wonderfully inspired ideas! can’t wait to try some out. LOVE your klimt metallic stamping!

  • thanks rachelle! yes, N would be all over this, i’m sure! of the ways we created the concentric circles this in this post (nearly 2 years ago now – wow) i’d definitely recommend the more free-form version. that was the most fun of all!

  • Lisa

    I have the rug in a 5×7 Iwas just going to list on craigslist if your interested. I was just searching for the name of the rug and this popped up