I’ve seen a lot of tutorials out there on the interwebs for art projects based on Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky. Most involve painting concentric circles or cutting out circles. I was thinking of something that involved printmaking… no surprise there, right!?
Squares with Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky, photo from NZ Fine Prints
Well as my printmaking students were doing their monoprints the other day, I thought it would make a really great Kandinsky project. So Lil’ Miss and I sat down a couple days later to make these beautiful Kandinsky Inspired Monoprints.
The nice thing about monoprints is that they really don’t require a lot of specialized equipment. The only special thing you’ll need is a sheet of plexiglass just larger than your sheet of paper. You can find these for about $3 each at your local hardware store. I found mine at MECCA (our local art supplies recycling place) for 50c a sheet. The plexiglass is nice because you can place a sheet of paper behind it to guide the child, but in a pinch you could use a baking sheet or something else that’s flat and as big as your paper.
In addition, you’ll need some acrylic paints and brushes and paper.
Place one of your sheets of paper behind the plexiglass so you’ll know where to stop painting. I drew a big circle on the backing paper for Lil’ Miss, just to give her a little guide.
Now paint concentric circles on the plexiglass. You have to work a little bit quickly so that the paint won’t dry.
Lay your sheet of paper over the painted circles.
And rub with your hands, making sure to get the entire surface of the paper.
Lift the paper up very carefully.
Look at what you’ve created!! We like to talk about why some of the paint wasn’t printed on to the paper.
If you like, you can make another print from this exact painting. It’s called a ghost print and even less paint will stick this time. We talk about why this is. If Lil’ Miss has her way, she will make 6 or 7 ghost prints. As she says, “I’m really into ghost prints right now.” LOL.
Now, you could be finished with your project, or….
You can make more! We didn’t wash the plexiglass between paintings because we wanted some of the older color to show through to the new prints. It really gives a depth and a really different dynamic to the prints.
Lil’ Miss painted right over her previous painting with new colors and printed again.
They are really a lot of fun. I’ve never been that into monoprinting, but this project and working with my printmaking class really got me excited about it!
If you have older kids, you could try with more circles like below:
For more colors, you have to hurry a bit more so the paint won’t dry. Lil’ Miss was taking her time, so this one didn’t work out so well. If you’ve got older kids, they might enjoy the challenge though!!
If you do this project, I’d love to see how it turns out! You might even see if another of Kandinsky’s works inspires other designs for monoprinting!
Chrissy Leiberan-Titus writes for Muse of the Morning.com
Kids Get Arty!