In this project, we’re going to explore three different easy watercolor techniques for kids.
The artist who inspired this project is the Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky is known as one of the first pioneers of modern abstract painting. He started learning art on his own at the age of 30.
While studying art, one artist he was particularly impressed by was Claude Monet. Kandinsky admired his powerful use of color and the almost abstract quality of his haystack paintings.
The painting that inspired today’s project is Several Circles. Kandinsky explored the use of color and geometric shapes in many of his paintings.
The supplies needed for this project are:
- Watercolor Paper
- Watercolor Paint Set
- Watercolor Brushes (varied sizes)
- Compass (or circle templates or anything round in varied sizes)
First, cut your sheet of watercolor paper into a square to keep with the proportion of the original painting. The original painting is nearly five feet tall!
Next, use your compass to create circles of various sizes on your paper in an interesting design. You can use the original painting as inspiration if you’d like or make up your own design.
Now it’s time to paint!
We’re going to explore three different watercolor techniques in this project.
- Layering – This is when you paint one color in a certain area and allow it to dry completely. Once it’s dry, you paint another color on top of it. Since watercolor is transparent, you will see how the colors mix together when one is added to another.
- Salt – Table salt (or any granular salt that is not too large) can be added to wet paint to create a textured effect. Simply drop the salt crystals into the wet paint and allow to dry. When the paint has completely dried, you can easily rub the salt away (be gentle and don’t rub too hard). You will see the various textures and patterns created by the mixture of the salt, water, and paint.
- Wet on Wet – This technique is when one color is painted into another color or clear water while it is still wet. This allows the two colors to mix with one another before drying. If color is painted into clear water, the color will easily dissolve and blend (middle wet on wet image above).
Using these techniques in any way you’d like, paint all of your circles on your paper.
Try to use a different color for each circle or each part of the circles.
Our final step will be to paint the background black once all of your circles have dried.
Using the wet on wet technique, you can paint clean water around your circles and paint black paint into it (as you see in the first square) or you can mix your black paint first and paint it directly on the paper.
The background does not need to be perfect! Notice in the original painting the differences in the background, it’s not just one smooth black color.
If after the first layer of black it’s not dark enough, allow it to dry and you can add as many layers as you’d like. It’s best to allow it to dry between each layer.
Our finished Kandinsky inspired watercolor!