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Henri Matisse Art Projects For Children

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Henri Matisse Art Projects For Children

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.

Further Reading

Salvador Dali Art Projects For Children - Salvador Dali was a famous Spanish artist known for being unconventional in both his creations and appearance. His paintings, sculptures and films often have a dream-like quality about them, often because the bizarre landscapes or actions depicted cannot happen in the real world. The following lists of activities to explore Salvador Dali with children. 

Pablo Picasso For Children - Considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso is famous for a style of painting known as Cubism. The following lists of activities to explore Pablo Picasso with children. 

Claude Monet For Children - Oscar-Claude Monet was a pioneer of the French Impressionist style of painting. The following provides information on Claude Monet's art experiences that can be created by children. 

Jackson Pollock For Children - Jackson Pollock was an American artist who painted in the abstract expressionist style. He is best known for works created by dripping and splashing paint on a large canvas that would lie flat on the floor. The following lists of activities to explore Jackson Pollock with children. 

Andy Warhol For Children - Andy Warhol became famous as an artist in the Pop Art movement which uses images from popular cultures like advertising, comic books and other everyday objects. The following provides information on Andy Warhol's art experiences that can be created by children. 

Wassily Kandinsky Art Projects For Children - Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist, printmaker and art theorist whose works were among the first to herald the modernist movement in art. Since childhood, he was deeply fascinated by colour and shapes and this is reflected over the many artistic phases of his own career. The following provides information on Wassily Kandinsky's art experiences that can be created by children. 


  • Easy Matisse Art Project for Kids
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Created On September 22, 2022 Last modified on Thursday, September 22, 2022
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