Art-Making Activity: Kandinsky Circles

Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944), Sketch for Several Circles, 1926, Oil on canvas, 27 5/8 x 27 5/8 in., Gift of Mrs. Edgar B. Stern, 64.31


Explore line, color, and shape as you create a mixed-media work inspired by Wassily Kandinsky. The Russian-born artist expressed his feelings by creating abstract works of art. He often overlapped colors and shapes in his work, creating depth and variety of shape. Art and music were closely connected for him, and he often titled his works compositions, a play on the word common in both art forms.


  • Thick white paper
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Assorted circular items to serve as stencils—jar and bottle tops, small plates, CDs, etc.
  • Assorted objects to serve as stencils—box tops, matchbooks, coasters, etc.
  • Crayons or colored pencils.
  • Watercolor set


Select shapes from the stencil objects. Determine your “composition” by laying them on the paper. When you like the design, trace the objects with your pencil.

Add some lines if you like!

Use a marker to outline the pencil, then add color with crayons or colored pencils.

Paint the background with watercolor paint.