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Abstract Inspirations – How Artists Draw on the Masters

Sample of a Wassily Kandinsky abstract painting of houses along a road

Abstract art is an exciting and vibrant style of art rich with creativity and emotion. From the shapes and colors of the Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky to the grids and color blocking of Dutch master Piet Mondrian, this style has inspired artists worldwide. To help develop a child’s technique and art literacy, parents and teachers can extract many lessons from this popular art movement.

What Is Abstract Art?

Abstract art is a style of art that uses shapes, colors and forms to convey ideas and emotions. In contrast to classical art movements, abstract art typically avoids using lifelike depictions of reality. Without employing literal depictions of the real world, artists are free to use their imagination and creative skills to produce unique and engaging works.

How to Create Abstract Art Inspired by the Masters

Children are often drawn to abstract art, inspired by vivid colors and the imaginative combination of lines and shapes. Unlike the intricate brushwork and precise hand-eye coordination used in classical portraiture, many abstract paintings and sculptures can feel within reach of younger artists.

The Abstract Art of Piet Mondrian

While Piet Mondrian used various art styles throughout his life, today he is best known for the familiar grid-based compositions featuring rectangles of color held within black borders. Mondrian’s use of color blocking with primary colors can help artists learn about the interaction between different colors, and how they can create harmony or tension in a design.

Abstract Art Lessons Inspired by Piet Mondrian

Children can develop their own Mondrian-inspired artwork by creating a grid using black markers. Simply paste colored paper into the predefined rectangles or use colored markers, making sure to stay within the lines. Our Piet Mondrian art lesson provides a more detailed look at the artist’s life and techniques.

The Abstract Art of Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky also used many styles throughout his long career, from his earlier abstract expressionist works to a later use of geometric patterns. Young artists can study his work to see the interplay between colors, lines, shapes and patterns. Kandinsky’s influence is easy to spot in contemporary art, graphic design and interior design.

Abstract Art Lessons Inspired by Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky’s geometric period offers a great introduction into abstract art. Children can use household materials such as different-sized cups, a ruler and pencils to create interesting shapes, lines and patterns.

Next, use soft, spontaneous watercolor brushstrokes to add color to the design, evoking different moods and emotions. After completing the painting, discuss how the abstract artwork captures different feelings without the need for literal objects and real-world depictions.

Watch Abstract Art Lessons for Kids

Golden Road Arts develops hands-on art tutorials and art literacy lessons for elementary and middle school children. Browse our collection for insight into the abstract art movement and other important styles. Watch our free art lessons here.

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