Shapes with Sonia Delaunay

 Skill Builder
Abstract composition of multi-colored circles.

Look closely at Sonia Delaunay's Circles in Pastel, an artwork from the Museum's Collection. Then, follow along with the prompts below to explore, learn more, and create a geometric artwork of your own! 


  • What do you see? 
  • List all of the colors you can find. 
  • What shapes do you see? Trace them with your finger. 
  • What mood or feeling do you feel when you look at this artwork? 
  • How many different circles can you count? 


  • This is an abstract artwork. Abstract artworks use colors, shapes, lines, and textures rather than representing something from the real world. 
  • The artist who made this artwork, Sonia Delaunay, was born in Russia (in what is now Ukraine) and lived in France. She liked to use geometric shapes in her artworks, especially circles. 
  • Sonia Delaunay also liked to experiment with colors. She was interested in the way that colors look and feel different depending on what other colors are nearby. 


  • What kind of materials do you think created each of the colors? What makes you think that? 
  • What types of movements do you think the artist had to make to create the lines and textures? Use your body to show what those movements would have been like. 
  • Does this artwork remind you of anything? Why? 
  • Do the circles look like they are still or moving? 


  • Make your own colorful geometric artwork! You'll need a sheet of paper and something to draw and color with. 
  • Choose a shape to use in your artwork. For example, you might choose a triangle, rectangle, square, or even a hexagon! 
  • Draw using only that shape (or parts of that shape, like how Delaunay includes semi-circles and circles). Try to fill up the whole page! 
  • Experiment with color. Try placing colors next to each other that you wouldn't normally put together!
  • Choose a title for your artwork and share it with a friend or family member. 

Image Credits

Sonia Delaunay
b. 1885 Hradyz'k, Ukraine; d. 1979 Paris, France
Circles in Pastel, 1969
19 1/2 x 15 in
Acquired in 1999
Bequest of Bernard J. and Florence F. Starkoff
© Pracusa 202007143