May 31, 2012

Painting Kandinsky Circles

Who can resist painting "Kandinsky circles" when you are doing an art unit?

First I showed the students a power point with Kandinsky paintings while listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Then I stopped on the circles and we wondered about the painting. 


  • How do you think Kandinsky paint it? 
  • Why do you think he chose circles?
  • What do you think was his inspiration? 
  • Which materials, mediums did he use? (research) 
  • What size is the original painting? (research) 
  • What shapes do you see? 
  • How many circles? Squares? Can we count them all? 
  • Which colors did he use? 
  • What do you feel when you look at this painting? 
  • What do you think he wanted us to feel?
  • If you were to do this kind of painting what would you do the same and different?

One of the students commented, "Wow, he (Kandinsky) really likes circles! I like circles too."

They all wanted to make circles like Kandinsky. 

To facilitate the work for my preschoolers I traced yellow lines to define six areas where the circles would be painted. Sorry this picture is really bad.

 The students wondered how Kandinsky started his painting, with a small circle in the middle, with the square, or with a random circle, or any other way? We tried different ways.  

Most students chose to start with a small circle in the center of the squares.
We used poster paint and cardboard paper as our mediums.

Circles are a great shape to explore through art with young children. According to several developmental scales and 'copy forms' tests the circle is the first shape perceived and mastered by a child.

Below are some of my students' Kandinsky inspired circles.


  1. Oh these are great! Sometimes I'm at a loss when it comes to guiding the kids with painting, thanks for the inspiration we'll be trying this!

  2. Sometimes I am also puzzled by how to start or present a project to the students. If it is something we are 'getting inspired by' like the Kandinsky's circles, O'Keefe's flowers or Pollock's action painting, I like to look at the artist's work with the students and wonder how the work was done and how we could do it. Most of the time the children come up with interesting insights and solutions. If they don't then I give them clues and ideas. Thanks Katie for stopping by!

  3. I just love that you posted photos of all levels of development. And, that the kids signed their own work!