Try an easy Delaunay art project with this abstract lesson. It’s fun to experiment with the idea of slicing and dicing lots of circles.
Robert Delaunay, was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, co-founded the Orphism art movement. It was famous for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes. Delaunay’s career provided a bridge to future developments of more abstraction in art.
In addition to painting, Delaunay also wrote a lot about his work. He was said to believe that the idea of color was a thing in itself, with its own powers of expression and form. He thought contrast and harmony in colors produced their own movement in the eye of the viewer. He spent his career experimenting with that idea, which ended up influencing many artists that followed him.
This project borrows Delaunay’s style of creating many concentric circles, and splitting just a few in half. A circle template certainly comes in handy for such a job, especially when it comes to centering circles within each other. The best one I have found is linked below. It’s a wonderfully transparent sheet that allows students to line their circles up visually so they can get accurate results without a lot of guessing or measuring.
TEACHER NOTE: If anyone has a better tool, let me know and I’ll add a link. This is one of those projects where a useful tool can make all the difference in how this process of abstraction is enjoyed. Also, please encourage your students to make a variation of my sample shown in my download. It’s meant to be used as a general guide to create their own composition.
- Transparent circle stencils, Laurie Speltz, The Creative Coach
- Delaunay Art Project PDF tutorial (click to open)
- Drawing paper
- Markers, I like the Stabilo Power Wallet brand
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to draw Delaunay Circles
- Draw a large circle and center dot.
- Add smaller circle and center dot.
- Use a straight edge to connect the dots.
- Add concentric circles. The goal is to have a variety of thick and thin rings.
- Draw another set of larger circles.
- Add a smaller set of circles.
- Fill in the remaining space with circles.
- Finish smaller spaces with circles.
- Trace with a marker and color.