Learn how to make a painting in the style of artist Piet Mondrian, step-by-step.
By Andrea Mulder-Slater
Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter who was born in 1872. At one time, Mondrian painted realistic landscapes, but as he painted more and more, his style began to change. He started to create abstract images… much like the Mondrian-style paintings you see here on this page. How did he come to paint this way? Well, the more Mondrian looked at trees, buildings and vases, the more he saw their basic shapes and colors. You can try this too… just squint your eyes while you are looking at something and all the details will start to disappear. You will see only shapes and color… no real objects. This is what Mondrian did.
Eventually, Mondrian’s style consisted of geometric shapes and primary colors. After all, every shape can be created from the basic geometric shapes and every color can be created from the primaries – red, yellow and blue.
Now it’s your turn to create a Mondrian style painting.
What You Need:
- A piece of heavy paper or poster board or even wood or canvas (just make sure that if you are using wood or canvas that you prime it with gesso or white latex house paint before beginning)
- Paint — red, yellow, blue, black & white (use tempera, poster paints or acrylics … whichever you have on hand).
- Paintbrushes, water, containers etc.
- A straight edge
- Black magic markers
- Examples of Mondrian’s work or Mondrian style paintings like the ones on this page.
**You could use crayons or pencil crayons or markers instead… you don’t have to make a painting you can make a Mondrian style drawing.
What You Do:
First draw your lines on the paper using your straight edge. You can put your lines anywhere you want but here is a general guide:
Divide your paper up by drawing draw four horizontal lines from one end of the paper to the other _______
Next, draw three vertical lines | again, make sure your lines go from one end of your paper to the other.
- When your lines have been drawn, use either black paint or a black marker to darken them up. Make some lines thick and some lines thin.
- Now you should have a grid with lots of empty spaces.
- Choose just a few spaces to fill in with the primary colors – red, yellow and blue
- Don’t overdo the color … leave a lot of white space (just as the examples here show. The key is to keep it simple.
- That’s all there is to it!
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