One of the greatest French artists of the 20th century, Henri Matisse is known for his fluid use of colours and forms in paintings and sculptures. The following provides information on Henri Matisse's art experiences that can be created by children.
Matisse Inspired Collage
Around the age of seventy, Matisse struggled with stomach cancer which made it difficult to stand and move around to draw and sculpt. This drew him to a new art form – colourful paper cutouts put together in collages or diverse arrangements that could even take up huge walls. Inspire your learners to follow the Master’s footsteps to make their own paper cut-out collage. Supplies needed for project are simple and include a piece of coloured card stock or construction paper, multiple pieces of coloured construction paper for cutting, scissors, a glue stick or liquid school glue. Get your learners started by first thinking what kind of design they want to create with collage on their blank paper. If some come up with a particular shape in mind – like a bear or house - it might be a good idea at this stage to have them draw the basic outline. More importantly though show some collages made by Matisse so children get ideas on how paper cut outs can be put together in attractive ways.
Next let children cut out pieces of paper in varying shapes, sizes and colours. Then encourage them to move around the pieces on the background till they are satisfied with the composition. Remind them that they can even use the paper scraps obtained after cutting out paper shapes. Finally the pieces are glued to the background and the project completed as each child signs off their personal piece of Matisse-inspired collage.
Play With Space
Creating art with paper cut outs also led Matisse to experiment with positive and negative spaces. Conventionally, positive shapes represent solid objects and negative shapes show the surrounding space but Matisse often created new shapes using the negative space between his cut out forms. Help children to play around with such ideas by using bright, bold colours. They can start by putting blobs of different coloured paint down each side of a fresh sheet of card. Using a square of cardboard, show them how to sweep the paint across the card. At this stage point out how the paint blends together to create bold, vibrant colours. Also explore how different sweeping motions – fast or slow – show up as different patterns on the card.
The resulting background with striking colours is positive space. Once dry, children can overlay stencils and use black and white paints to create a layered design – thus creating negative space.
In this way, Matisse-inspired art projects can help children experiment with colour, texture, and depth – thus discovering new meanings of art.
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- Easy Matisse Art Project for Kids
- Practising scissor skills with Matisse Shapes