Colour, Shape and Line

Kandinsky and music

Wassily Kandinsky's abstract paintings were inspired by music.   Each line and shape he did reflected a sound or an instrument.

Wassily Kandinsky 'Yellow-Red-Blue'  1925

Step 1 : Put on some of your favourite music and, with a light touch of your pencil at first, start to doodle to the music.  Try to listen to each instrument in turn and replay the same music a few times.  Make a shape for a certain instrument and if it gets louder do the shape again but bigger.  You might start a line and zig zag across the page as the notes get higher or lower.  Keep changing the marks and shapes for different instruments and try to cover your page in lines, shapes, dots and wiggles.

Step 2 : On a new bigger piece of paper or card choose your favourite shapes and marks.

Step 3 : Using poster paints or watercolours start to paint your picture.  Have another look at how Kandinsky used colour, some of them were very bright and beautiful but they often faded and blended gradually into another colour, he also dabbed colour and made a dottier effect.  If you want help see the Colour Wheel in the Techniques and Advice page...experiment with making exciting colours by mixing reds and yellows or blues and greens to get a vivid effect, then soften them with a lighter or complimentary colour to make the change towards a different shape.

Materials: Paper/card A3, brushes, watercolour/poster paint, pencil, rubber.

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