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Kandinsky Recycled

Lesson Plan and Artwork by Mary Reilly, Art Subject Matter Expert
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Lesson Plan
Grades 5-12
Sax Lesson Plans, Art, Math


Using Speedball Gel Printing Plates, Akua Intalglio® Inks and recycled materials students will create a monoprint featuring different color planes and geometric shapes reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky's abstract paintings.


  • Students will study the works of Wassily Kandinsky paying special attention to geometric shapes and color planes.
  • Students will learn how to make a monoprint using a Speedball Gel Printing Plate.
  • Students will create tools out of recycled materials to use with their monoprint plates to create abstract geometric images within their prints.

Supplies Needed

#1590337 Akua Intaglio Inks, set of 8, 8 oz. jars
#1575491 5x5 Speedball Gel Printing Plate
#1575494 12x12 Speedball Gel Printing Plate
#1575492 5x7 Speedball Gel Printing Plate
#1575493 8x10 Speedball Gel Printing Plate
#216495 Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Brayer
#216486 Speedball 2" Soft Rubber Brayer
#381080 Speedball Printmaster Paper 9x12
#1540499 Arnhem 1618 Printmaking Paper, 8.5x11, pack of 100



Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.


Standard #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.


Adjust quantities and add all items at once


Step 1

Explore with students the abstract art of Wassily Kandinsky. Discuss the geometric shapes used as well as how the artist used color planes to define shapes.

Step 2

Have students collect various recycled materials like bubble wrap, plastic bottle caps, paper towel rolls, plastic mesh and corrugated board. Ask student to look for items that have geometric shapes as part of their design.– i.e. bottle caps are circular corrugated board has triangles within. Have students share their findings to make sure all items are safe.

Step 3

Show students how they can create their own geometric shapes using cereal boxes cut into two inch strips. The strips can be shaped into concentric circles, triangles, rectangles and squares by bending and taping into place. Scrap mat board can be cut into strips to create linear effects within their designs. Students can use scrap pieces of mat board or railroad board and create paint scrapers of their own design.

Step 4

Students can collect sponges, cotton swabs and old brushes to remove areas of ink from their gel printing plates.

Step 5

The Speedball Gel Plates have a soft surface allowing the recycled materials to be used to create both geometric and linear patterns within in their design. Recycled materials such as bubble wrap can create texture. Discuss and demonstrate these techniques with students.

Step 6

The Akua Inks being used are soy based and have a slower drying time allowing the plates to be inked and work on before printing. These inks clean up easily with the use of baby wipes. When printing is complete wash in warm soapy water. Store in clam shell to prevent damage during storage.

Step 7

With Akua Inks the adage "less is best" applies. Set up inking stations for students using minimal amounts of ink. Using a Speedball soft rubber brayer, roll out ink and apply to plates. Demonstrate this process. Show how the recycled materials collected can be used to add geometric shapes and patterns to create an abstract print. Have time for students to experiment before completing their final print.

Step 8

Display prints and have students explain the various tools and techniques they used.

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