Recreating Kandinsky

Made by Ricardo Tucker

To study the life and artwork of Wassily Kandinsky and recreate one of his pieces.

Created: September 28th, 2015



Wasilly Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter active in the early 1900s. Kandinsky is known as the frontrunner of abstract art, since he believed that art was a deeply spiritual experience meant to visually portray human emotion through colors and patterns. Also afflicted with synesthesia, Kandinsky would often try to represent sounds that he could see in his artwork as well. His pieces almost all had some varying level of abstractness to them, although his work would range from being purely abstract to pieces of religious background or social commentary.



Color Study. Squares with Concentric Circles (1913)

This image is a grid of squares with circles of seemingly random patterns and colors within each one. When making this painting, Kandinsky says he “applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could... ", which can be seen on some of the circles with more vivid and contrasting colors to them. This painting is also quite unique, as it was designed with a very set layout compared to most of his other works that do not particularly have any defined structure to them.

Kandinsky circles.thumb


This piece stood out to me especially once I learned that Kandinsky had synesthesia. Although the piece itself is quite simple-looking, especially compared to some of his other more abstract paintings, it almost seems to me like this painting could represent how Kandinsky interpreted things in the world. Could these be depictions of the colors he saw for particular noises (the very contrasting circles being loud or sharp noises while the complementing colors are softer noises perhaps)?



I recreated Kandinsky's piece using GIMP, a free image manipulation program similar to photoshop. I drew the picture in layers, starting with each of the background squares. Using the color pipette tool, I picked the color that best represented the overall color for that layer, then traced over the original picture onto a clear layer to recreate the image. For some of the colors that weren't a full layer, I tried to blend them in together using the smudge tool. I simply went one-by-one for each square in the grid, layering each of the colors until they formed the circles from the original picture.



This piece was surprisingly more difficult to recreate than I had originally thought. Although an hour was enough time to mimic the base image, I still was not able to include much detail into the picture. My version looks much more plain compared to the original painting, since my method of recreating the painting made me miss a lot of the more subtle/less prominent colors in some of the squares, and I was unable to add sort of canvas-like texture either. I feel like these two things added a lot of vibrancy to the original painting that my rendition is missing, which if my thought that the circles represent sounds to Kandinsky is true then I am probably missing a big portion of the piece's themes.

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To study the life and artwork of Wassily Kandinsky and recreate one of his pieces.