Lately, my little girl has been waking up and begging to go to the art museum (or “zooseum” as she calls it, and I’m not about to correct her since it’s one of the last words she mispronounces and it melts my heart). Of course, the bright and colorful always grabs her attention, and we’re both drawn to artist Wassily Kandinsky’s famous circles — so fluid, vibrant, and fun. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate our favorite pieces into her art time at home, so when she mastered her first color by number, I decided to combine the two!
This DIY Kandinsky-inspired Color by Number not only provides the opportunity to match colors and numbers, but also shapes and sizes. All the while, creating a colorful masterpiece for your own zooseum wall. Since my daughter loves puzzles, she really enjoyed the challenge of matching the shapes, and the colorful nature of the project kept her captivated as well, since each square offered a different combination. My little one has her final piece proudly displayed above her bed!
DIY Color by Numbers
- White poster or foam board
- 15 sheets of tissue paper (5 colors, 3 sheets each)
- First section off the white board: use a ruler to measure out 6.25 inches on the short side and 6 inches on the long side, and mark with a pencil.
- From these marks, draw three horizontal lines across the board, creating 3 rows and 4 vertical lines. This will make 4 columns for a total of 12 squares.
- Next, draw 4 consecutive circles in each square. This is our diagram and will be for reference only, eventually covered up by the tissue paper, so don’t worry about making them perfect. Set aside.
- Lay the tissue papers on top of one another. Begin in the corner and cut out a 6.5 x 6.5-inch square (you should have 15 squares, 3 of each color).
- Keeping the tissue papers stacked, cut a small circle about the size of a quarter, a second circle the size of a tennis ball, a third circle the size of a softball, and a fourth the size of a large grapefruit. (You’ll have a total of 15 circles for each size.) The circles on our inspiration painting are far from perfect, so again, don’t stress about that.
- To create the key, cut out a small piece of each colored tissue paper, glue it to a separate white piece of paper, and assign a number to each color.
- On the large white board, I found it easiest to mark one color at a time. Remember that you have 3 of each color in each size circle. If we assign blue, for example, the number “1,” then you’ll write a small “1” in 3 background squares, 3 large circles, 3 softball-sized circles, 3 tennis ball-sized circles, and 3 quarter-sized circles. You should have a total of 12. Repeat with each color’s number until the board is full.
- When you’re ready to present the project to your little artist, work one square at a time, guiding them through the process of building each particular combination off to the side (so you don’t cover up the numbers).
- Once stacked in the correct order, glue each smaller piece to the next largest, and then adhere to the white board. We started at the top left and worked our way across, building quite the vibrant rendition.