Piet Mondrian Abstract Art for Kids (2022)

ThisPiet Mondrian Abstract Art for Kids is a simple art project and lesson suitable for many ages.

Piet Mondrian was a talented and versatile artist that is known mainly for his geometric, clean pieces like “Trafalgar Square” & “Broadway Boogie Woogie”. His art is a fun one to introduce to kids because the style he homed in on as his life went on is so different than so many other artists and it is fun to create and look at.

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When teaching this art lesson to your children, or to a group of kids, it’s good to give them a little background on Mondrian himself and I will give you some brief history to make it easy, so you have all you need here in one spot. You can decide to add anything more to it if you like. Then all you need are the supplies and you’ve got an art lesson planned.

Starting the Art Lesson with Information About Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian was born in 1872 and died in 1944. He was Dutch and born into an aristocratic family who ended up escaping World War II and heading to New York City around 1940.
Mondrian studied art while still in Amsterdam. His early works were more of your typical paintings from that time frame and in an impressionistic style, like Monet.

He showed talent very early on but at this stage, his more developed style that he became famous for was not yet shown.

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Cubsim

Cubism was a big influence on his as well, after seeing an exhibition that featured Braque and Picasso around 1910, and then in 1912 he moved to Paris to work on his painting style more and his became focused on making the color in his paintings as pure as possible.

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He wanted simple purity to come across and this is when he began to change from trying to do what other painters did and do his own thing.

After moving to New York, he grew a fondness for the big city, the skyscrapers and the pace there. He produced many pieces and was very productive. He had given his work his own term of “Neo-Plasticism” and in his last few years of life his paintings used primarily primary colors along with black and white and echoed the city streets and patterns.

Many people refer to Mondrian as the original abstract artist.

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(Video) Let's learn about Piet Mondrian! 🎨

For creating a Mondrian piece, for each student you will need:

  • small canvas or canvas board in a size anywhere from an 8” x 8” to an 11” x 14”
  • black tape (I have used both a thin and a thick style and I prefer the thin, but either works fine.)
  • acrylic paints in primary colors, plus any you’d like to allow in addition to those
  • pencil, ruler, and eraser
  • paintbrushes in a 1” size and a thin one as well
  • palette or paper plate, water cup, and paper towels
  • disposable table cloth

Step by Step Instructions for Piet Mondrian Abstract Art for Kids

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Art Lesson

Tips

Explain that the kids are going to create a series of squares and rectangles on the canvas, lightly in pencil. If they make too many of them though, that means a lot more time painting.

Many get caught up in the fun creating process of using the ruler. They don’t think through the time factor and how they still have to paint them all in.

For my classes, we ended up splitting this lesson into two. This way the paint had time to dry well before we put on the tape. This part will depend on how much time you have to work with. The taping part doesn’t take too long, but it will not stick if the paint is wet.

Use the ruler to make the squares (or freehand it with older kids)

Have them use the ruler to create the squares. Have them leave at least one or two larger in comparison to the rest. This helps break up the design and keeps it from looking more like a checker board.

Before they begin painting have them hold the canvas out and look it over to make sure they like the layout they chose.

Paint

Let them choose about 3 colors. An odd number looks better, and many will stick with the primary colors, but some will want to use more. Too many colors take away from the Mondrian feel.

Have them paint the main larger squares in first, choosing the color they want to be the main one. If they start with smaller squares it is more difficult to find the focal one. They may end up not liking the outcome.

I reminded them to paint all the same color first, choosing 3 to 5 squares of one color at a time. For example, if red was the focal color they chose, they would paint the largest one red, and then choose a few other random ones to also paint red before moving on the next color.

They can use the small brush to paint the outline of the square in first, to help keep the lines inside the areas easier, and then change to the larger brush to fill in.

At this point, they just need to choose which squares to paint and get them filled in.

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An important thing to be sure they know before going too far is to leave white ones between. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but the white is what makes this really pop and echo the Mondrian style.

Another important thing is to be sure you do a second coat on the colors of paint. He stressed the importance of solid, pure pigments in his paintings and if you do just one coat on most of these colors, it will be see-thru and look faded and unfinished.

(Video) Piet Mondrian Lesson

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I advise them to let the paint soak in well and be nearly dry before going back to do another coat, so then they can tell where they really need it filled in.

Let the Paint Dry

Once the paint is all well covered and solid, they need to let it dry.

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Adding Black Tape

The last step is to add the black tape in between. This works so much better than trying to paint lines or draw them, which looks messy.

The tape is what gives the piece a clean, finished look and this is when it all comes together nicely.

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If you are teaching multiple kids, let them share the rolls of tape and pass them around, taking turns. If you allow them to cut long pieces of tape and then try to cut and fit them, you will have a lot of wasted tape and in one class I taught, we had several kids waste tape and a couple who ran out because of this.

It seems faster to let them do this but it’s not worth it. I had them stretch out a tape piece over the canvas where they wanted it and then cut. I then passed the tape on to the next person, and then smoothed it out while they waited to the tape to come back to them again.

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Make sure if the canvases are the standard style and not the boards, that you extend the tape around the outside edges too and then fold it around the back side.

This makes a big difference in the finished product.

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It is fun when they are done to put them all together and get photos. Each person’s creation will be so different and yet tie together too.

(Video) Piet Mondrian – 'Abstract Painting as We Know It' | TateShots

This is a good illustration of how everyone has their own fun and creative spin on things.

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FAQs

What is abstract art for kids? ›

Abstract art is more about the shapes and colors and the feelings it expresses, not about the accurate portrayal of a subject. Abstract art also encourages discussion about colors, shapes, and lines which are concepts young children are learning. Abstract art is interpreted different by everyone who sees it.

Is Piet Mondrian abstract art? ›

He is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th century abstract art, as he changed his artistic direction from figurative painting to an increasingly abstract style, until he reached a point where his artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements.

How do you explain abstract art to preschoolers? ›

Abstract art is a form of art with no recognizable subject, it doesn't represent images of our everyday lives. It has colors, lines and shapes, but they are not designed to represent living things or actual objects.

What are the 5 elements of abstract art? ›

All art consists largely of elements that can be called abstract—elements of form, colour, line, tone, and texture.

What are 5 facts about abstract art? ›

Interesting facts about abstract art

Abstract art began to be noticed in the 1900s, especially in New York. Abstract art does not represent real things. It uses colors, lines, and shapes to make images that express feelings. The art is usually large in size.

What is Mondrian art style? ›

Piet Mondrian

What style of art is Piet Mondrian known for? ›

Although he is best known for his abstract paintings made from squares and rectangles, Piet Mondrian started out painting realistic scenes. He especially liked painting trees. Can you see the shape of a tree in this painting? It shows how he began to develop his abstract style.

What is so special about Mondrian? ›

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian is one of the greatest figures of modern art and abstract painting. With his compositions of black lines closing up rectangles of primary colors, Mondrian created some of the most iconic works of early twentieth-century abstract art.

What does the word Mondrian mean? ›

Definitions of Mondrian. Dutch painter whose work (intersecting lines at right angles and planes in primary colors) influenced the development of abstract art (1872-1944) synonyms: Piet Mondrian. example of: abstract artist, abstractionist. a painter of abstract pictures.

Why did Mondrian paint trees? ›

These tree paintings allowed Mondrian room to develop his ideas around order, balance and harmony, and they paved the way for his mature abstraction, which he called Neoplasticism. We look through some of the reasons why trees were so important in Mondrian's artistic practice.

What is a Mondrian puzzle? ›

The Mondrian Puzzle is a puzzle that asks for a rectangle tiling of a integer-sided square. All used rectangles must be integer sided and pairwise non-congruential. The score of such a tiling (of which multiple are possible) is the difference between the areas of the largest and the smallest used rectangle.

What are the 3 types of abstract art? ›

3 Types of Important Abstract Art Styles
  • #1. Dada. In the early 20th century, many artists were interested in using their platforms to make critiques on society and culture. ...
  • #2. Action Painting. ...
  • #3. Non-Objective Art.
20 Jul 2020

What are the 4 types of abstract art? ›

Stylistically, abstract art included the movements of Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism, and Fauvism.

What are the main points of abstract art? ›

Abstract art has a unique voice that provokes interest, permitting both artists and viewers a distinct sense of freedom and expression. Despite its often chaotic and spontaneous appearance, it possesses a structure that is composed of six key elements: colour, shape, form, texture, line, and value.

What are the rules for abstract art? ›

September, 11, 12, 13, 2020
  • Balance.
  • Emphasis.
  • Rhythm/pattern.
  • Unity.
  • Variety.
  • Contrast.
  • Movement.
  • Surprise, individual voice, or soul.
7 Sept 2020

What are the basics of abstract art? ›

The truth is, abstract art is not "about nothing". At its basis, it is about form, color, line, texture, pattern, composition and process. These are the formal qualities of artwork, because they describe what the art looks like and how it is created. Abstract art is an exploration of these formal qualities.

Who first made abstract art? ›

Vasily Kandinsky, Untitled (Study for Composition VII, first abstraction), 1913, watercolor (Centre Pompidou). Vasily Kandinsky backdated this work to 1910 (in the signature at the lower right), probably in order to claim that he was the first abstract artist — most art historians believe it dates to 1913.

What does abstract mean for kids? ›

Abstract is from a Latin word meaning "pulled away, detached," and the basic idea is of something detached from physical, or concrete, reality. It is frequently used of ideas, meaning that they don't have a clear applicability to real life, and of art, meaning that it doesn't pictorially represent reality.

What techniques did Mondrian use? ›

Piet Mondrian took an interest in impressionist techniques and this form of art with the early works that he did. Like Van Gogh, Mondrian uses pure, glowing colors and expressive brushwork under the influence of pointillism and Fauvism.

What is Mondrian design? ›

Regarded as a pioneer of 20th century abstract art, Mondrian is best known for his paintings featuring basic forms and colors. The artist limited his paintings to the three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and the two primary directions (horizontal and vertical), thus creating colorful and geometric compositions.

What are the elements of arts? ›

ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. may be two-or three-dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract.

What is Piet Mondrian most famous painting called? ›

Victory Boogie Woogie (1944)

Victory Boogie-Woogie, a painting that Mondrian conceived in expectation of victory in World War II and that remained unfinished by reason of his death on February 1, 1944, adds immeasurably to the innovations of his American period.

What is the meaning of the Black Square? ›

Black Square is a metaphor for art itself.

An empty canvas, a blank page — otherwise known as a black square. So, if you remove the subject from art, you'll always get a black square — art in its purest form without any extra additives. Malevich didn't like the fact that art was only a reflection of reality.

What does Brassines mean? ›

Brassiness refers to the unwanted warm tones that show up in colored hair. It typically happens in dark hair that gets dyed platinum or blonde, but it can also occur in hair that's been highlighted or in hair that's been lightened to brown.

What does word Tampa mean? ›

It is believed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa, an Indian tribe that once lived south of the area. This may relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that west central Florida receives every year during the summer months.

What were the most common colors and shapes used in Mondrian's paintings? ›

The canvas is small and uses only the simplest of colors: red, blue, yellow, white and black. The composition is similarly reduced to the simplest of rectilinear forms, squares and rectangles defined by vertical and horizontal lines.

What does purple squares painted on trees mean? ›

To save money and to make money, that's why. Purple paint on boundary line trees or fence posts means NO TRESPASSING, just as a green light means go and a red light means stop. But how can the purple paint law possibly save money for a woodland owner?

What two types of line did Mondrian use in his paintings? ›

Mondrian found his own style in this movement and termed it as “Neoplasticism”. “This consisted of white ground, upon which he painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors” ('Piet Mondrian', 1981).

What are Mondrian blocks? ›

Product detailsProduct details. WHAT YOU GET - Mondrian Blocks is an award-winning puzzle and travel game. Challenge your flexible thinking and problem-solving skills. The box contains a travel case, 11 blocks and 88 different challenge cards (separated into 4 difficulty levels) in each edition.

What are rainbow squares? ›

Crispy rice cereal bars with ooey gooey marshmallow and mini candy coated chocolate chips, Rice Krispies Squares* Rainbow Bars are sure to bring the fun to break time!

What are the two types of abstract art? ›

There were two types of Abstract Expressionists: Action Painting as exemplified by Jackson Pollock, and Colorfield Painting represented by Mark Rothko.

What is the beauty of abstract art? ›

The magical beauty of abstract art is that it emits powerful emotions while it is non-objective and non-representational. Such paintings represent non-visual things, like sounds and spirits, and that's why it sends off powerful emotions that trigger the viewer, either positively or negatively.

Is abstract art real art? ›

Abstract art makes no reference to the real world, instead drawing attention to its status as an art object – “art for art's sake”, as some might say. But it can take a huge variety of forms, from sculpture to photography, drawing and installation.

What is the first style of abstract art? ›

Cubism was a truly revolutionary style of modern art developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques. It was the first style of abstract art which evolved at the beginning of the 20th century in response to a world that was changing with unprecedented speed.

What is abstract art style? ›

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.

Who is considered the father of abstract painting? ›

Wassily Kandinsky is often regarded as the pioneer of European abstract art. Kandinsky claimed, wrongly as it turns out, that he produced the first abstract painting in 1911: 'back then not one single painter was painting in an abstract style'.

What does abstract mean for children? ›

Abstract art is a form of art with no recognisable subject, it doesn't represent images of our everyday lives. It has form, so it has colours, lines and shapes, but they are not designed to represent living things or actual objects.

What does abstract mean in art simple? ›

Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. Wassily Kandinsky. Cossacks (1910–1)

How do you define abstract art? ›

Abstract Art is a non-objective art, which does not have an accurate representation of a visual reality, but uses Forms, Colors, Textures and Gesture Marks to achieve its effect. It was born at the beginning of the 20th century and was completely radical for its time.

Can a 5 year old think abstractly? ›

The development of abstract or symbolic thought is characteristic of the kindergarten years. You see children do this almost every day in their dramatic play as they use objects to represent other things or make movements to represent a more complex action such as driving an ambulance.

Is abstract art good for kids? ›

Abstract art invites the viewer to interpret, rather than recognize, a subject. It is an amazing form that lets people explore, learn, and grow in creating art. In many ways, kids naturally begin their art journeys with an abstract art approach.

At what age do children understand abstract concepts? ›

Children learn the vast majority of abstract words and concepts between the ages of six and ten. However, they learn some abstract words earlier.

What are the 3 types of abstract? ›

There are three types of abstract:
  • Indicative abstracts are short, simple and objective. They describe the theme of the article or publication.
  • Informative abstracts are longer and more thorough. ...
  • Evaluative abstracts (also known as critical abstracts) are subjective.

Can a 4 year old think abstractly? ›

Very small children can reason abstractly, researchers say, and are able to infer the relationships between objects that elude older children who get caught up on the concreteness of things.

What is the main purpose of an abstract? ›

An abstract is a short statement about your paper designed to give the reader a complete, yet concise, understanding of your paper's research and findings. It is a mini-version of your paper.

Are there rules in abstract art? ›

Marks all exist in themselves, but with an energy, movement, or feeling that unifies them. Abstract art has been around for over 100 years now. It can be what you want it to be. There are rules and no rules.

Who invented abstract art? ›

Wassily Kandinsky is often regarded as the pioneer of European abstract art.

What is the true meaning of abstract? ›

adjective. thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea. expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, poverty, and speed. not applied or practical; theoretical: abstract science.

What makes good abstract art? ›

Good abstract art has a message, a concept, a “something.” Even though the technique may seem simple and haphazard, it emerges from a place of deep thought and great meaning. You can see the same truth at work in all of the great abstract painters: Rothko, Matisse, Pollock, de Kooning.

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