Monoprint artwork is considered the most painterly of the printmaking methods as it creates one unique piece of artwork that can’t be versioned or recreated multiple times. This art lesson plan for grades 5-12 incorporates the use of gel printing plates and ink, with Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract work as inspiration.
Kandinsky Recycled Art Project
Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter who is often credited with creating one of the first purely abstract works. A student of law and economics, his career as an artist began with life-drawings and anatomy. His abstract works often incorporate the use of geometric shapes and color to convey feeling.
Start by exploring the early and late works of Wassily Kandinsky to discuss his use of geometric shapes and colors. Ask students questions about what the different works of art seem to be saying and then research the historical context to understand more fully what Wassily seemed to be showing in his artwork.
Then students should collect recycled materials like bubble wrap, plastic bottle caps, and paper towel rolls (items with geometric shapes as part of their design). Inking stations and a Speedball soft rubber brayer will allow students to roll ink onto their plates and then create a monoprint.
Tips for Success with Gel Printing for Recycled Kandinsky
- Less is more when it comes to rolling ink onto the printing plate. Remind students to apply a thin, but even coat of ink over the surface.
- Be sure to discuss with students how Kandinsky used color to define shapes and then encourage them to apply color where they want to draw attention.
- Help to brainstorm as many geometric shapes as possible before students search for recycled materials.
More Printmaking Art Lesson Plans and Ideas
Students can use a Speedball Gel Printing Plate and Speedball Soft Rubber Brayer works together with Akua Intaglio Inks to create their Kandinsky Recycled art project. For more ideas of ways to include printmaking this year, be sure to check out these other art lesson plans.