Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dog Portraits with Kandinsky Circles

This looks like a pop art poster of a police line-up of pooches
(Alliteration overload)

Yes, I realize these two subjects make for strange bedfellows. My main objective for this lesson was to hit home the difference between abstract and representational art, while combining the two in one project. This is similar to my Grumpy Cats on Mark Rothko inspired Color Fields. My kindergarten through 4th graders followed a basic line drawing lesson to create their dogs on colored construction paper with Sharpie, pastel and charcoal. We looked at Kandinksy's, (one of the founders of the Abstract Art Movement) "Squares with Concentric Circles" from 1913 and admired the play of colors against one another. On a separate board that was divided into six squares with white oil pastels, the children created a series of circles using oil pastel and watercolor. This is always an enjoyable process for all ages. Once dry, pooches were cut out and glued to their colorful backgrounds. I like the playful contrast of these two elements together.


  1. It always kind of amazes me that from a basic line drawing lesson kids draw so many different looking animals!! These are lovely:)

  2. Aw, I love the combination here! Very nice!

  3. Thank you Christie and Laura!

  4. Hi Mary. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas on your blog. I'm an art grad of a decade and will be starting up some group art lessons for kids from my home in a few weeks. I'm working on purchasing materials and have a question for you if you don't mind. What paper do you use that will hold up to paint and what do you feel like is a good size? Thanks again :)

    1. Hi Stacie. I use a variety of papers and boards. If I need a sturdy base, I'll use watercolor paper (Strathmore) or good quality poster board. I'll use the back side of watercolor paper for mixed media projects since it has less tooth for drawing purposes. I tend to work rather large, between 11"X14" and 18"X24", but it depends on the project. Black construction paper is also a favorite of mine and even brown grocery bags cut into squares (I've used these for elephants and jaguars. I love to switch things up and experiment. Best of luck to you with your classes. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

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