Piet Mondrian
"Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue"

This issue is based on one of the works of the artist Piet Mondrian. We purposely do not speak of a "puzzle" as this suggests a specific picture content.

Further material for this article.

Piet Mondrian - "Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue"

The new material packet "Piet Mondrian: Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue" for art lessons.

Artistic painting with the Pelikan Opaque Paint Box K12

With this issue of "Pelikan K12 - the Original" we would like to present an exclusive idea for working with the Pelikan opaque paint box in your art lesson. It is based on one of the works of the artist Piet Mondrian.


a copy of Klee's original image: Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue 1921; Oil on canvas,
can be found at: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/mondrian/

Required material for this art class:
Water colour paint box K12, artist pad and a Pelikan paint brush.



Lesson plan "Piet Mondrian: Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue"

To help the children become involved in the lesson, the teacher starts with stencils. The coloured pieces help to visualise the task ahead. We purposely do not speak of a "puzzle" as this suggests a specific picture content.

After this introduction it is possible to allow the pupils freedom of composition. This leads most often to the best results. Support can and should be given if required. In the course of the lesson the stencil pieces can be used for differentiation.


  1. Download the material packet "Piet Mondrian: Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue" from the Internet.
  2. Print the individual pieces on stiff paper or card.
  3. Present the stencils to the pupils by means of a non-verbal impulse: let the children sit in a circle and place the stencils in the middle.
Stencils from the download to the lesson "Mondrian"
  1. Let individual pupils form figures with the stencils.
  2. Discuss the resulting "pictures" with the pupils. You may find the following considerations helpful:
    1. What is recognisable?
    2. How do the perspectives differ within the circle?
    3. How do the colours relate to each other?
    4. How do the forms relate to each other?
    5. How do the colours harmonise?
    6. What effect do the colours have on the observer?
    7. What titles would you give to the pictures?
    8. Discuss the titles with the pupils.
  3. After the discussion, let the pupils paint their own picture with the specified forms.
    Important: all the coloured forms should be used only once, however the black lines may be used as often as required.
  4. Once the pictures have dried, the pupils may choose a title for their work.
  5. Finally each pupil presents its picture to the group. If they wish, the children can also write a story about the development of the picture.

Tip: It is always important that the assignment is made perfectly clear to the pupils! Choose your own path for the lesson and combine with the preferred materials.

Possibilities of Differentiation

Stencils for the pupils

If your pupils experience difficulty in building a chain of association during the exercise as they are sitting in a circle, give them the stencils to hold in their hands. The downloaded stencils can be printed as often as necessary for this.
Before the pupils start to paint, they should be allowed to place their stencil "picture" where they are sitting and paint their interpretation in their own time.

Print painting stencils

If the pupils experience difficulty in painting the black lines or shaping the coloured areas, give them the stencils to use.

Here's how:
Coloured stencils (for colour printers only): Print the stencils on white card in the required quantity and cut out the coloured shapes.
Black stencils: Print the stencils on coloured card and cut out around the outlines.

Teachers' Info offers you both: The stencils as downloads for printing on either coloured or white card.

Working with the stencils

This is the way to work with the stencils in the download.

Clean results can be obtained with our painting templates. These aids can be used immediately once they have been cut out.

For a rough and basic picture structure the children should initially use the black stencils, whereby they should be placed on the painting block and painted over accordingly. Once these lines have dried, the coloured shapes can be added in any order. The colour of the stencil indicates the colour of paint which is required.

Mixing indentation in the paint cake

Generally speaking, the paint should be mixed with a little water only. For this purpose, the Pelikan opaque paint box offers a unique paint cake. Place just a couple of drops of water in the indentation, the paint dissolves and can be applied easily.


Examples of pupils' paintings

transmission interference, cat
no title, laser
space ship, dog
windmill, flag
armchair, sheep

Piet Mondrian

  • 1872: On 7th March 1872 Piet Mondrian was born in the Dutch town of Amersfoort. He was given drawing lessons by his father and uncle.
  • 1886-97: From 1886 to 1892 he trained as an art master and studied painting to 1897 at the Rijks Academy in Amsterdam.
  • 1911: Mondrian took part in the first exhibition of the art group "Modern Art Ring". Along side of works from Picasso and Braque, Mondrian's paintings in the spirit of the age were displayed. In the same year, Mondrian moved to Paris.
  • 1916: Together with Theo van Doesburg, Mondrian published the newspaper "De Stijl" in Holland and one year later they founded the artists' movement of the same name. Mondrian's first abstract paintings in black, white, red, yellow and blue originated in this year.
  • 1919: Back in Paris, Mondrian developed his own style whereby the primary colours and a severe, right-angled framework formed the basis of his pictures. This radical break started a hefty discussion in the "De Stijl" group. The other members doubted that Mondrian would be able to integrate his concepts into popular procedure.
  • 1924: Mondrian published his latest art theories in "De Stijl" and parted with the group completely one year later.
  • 1931: Piet Mondrian became a member of the group "Abstraction-Création".
  • bis 1938: Up until 1938 Mondrians works were classified as degenerate by the Nazis and his pictures were removed from the museums. Later the National Socialists sold many of his paintings abroad.
  • 1938: Finally Mondrian took flight to London and 2 years later, to New York.
  • 1940: In the meantime, influenced, among other things by American art, Mondrian's paintings were basket-works of colour, which more and more displaced his rigid abstracts. Mondrian's development emerged in the dissolution of the previous linear structures. In his last work "Victory Boogie-Woogie", spots displaced the lines and criss-cross the picture vertically and horizontally.
  • 1944: On 1st February 1944 Piet Mondrian died in New York.