Matisse Paper Cut-Outs

This month’s Famous Artist is

Henri Matisse

As a famous Fauvism artist, his modern art is full of

bright colors and dramatic art.

Fauvism was characterized by bold and often illogical colors.

We started our art appreciation lesson with Matisse’s

The Sorrows of the King.jpg

“Sorrow of the King”

1. Look carefully and describe what you see ~

My children noted :

  • the background is made up of colored blocks of paper
  • the “people” are not realistic
  • they could identify hands, body shapes, a guitar and a ‘dancing’ person
  • there were yellow leaf-shapes all over the picture
  • the picture did not really look sorrowful, nor could they find a “king”

I read a few Matisse quotes ~

 “The entire arrangement of my pictures is expressive; the place occupied by the figures, the empty spaces around them, the proportions, everything has its share.”

Matisse’s quote about his art inspired my youngest daughter to describe her own thoughts about Matisse’s paper cut-out picture.  She came up with a very amusing story, completely illogical, and yet symbolic, from the artwork.  She certainly “made it her own”!

2. We used Erika’s World’s Greatest Artist free download. 

  • I used my Famous Artist Biography pages as our notebook page. We read a brief biography and the children noted the details on the notebook page.
  • Erika’s puzzle was an excellent “review” of the picture we had just examined.
  • We made up the minibook with the thumbnails of Matisse’s art.

3. Art fun with paper cut-outs !

  1. We chose a theme for our picture – “Camping” – from this week’s Sketch Tuesday’s topic.
  2. This lesson used scraps of gum paper and sugar paper, so we keep a stash of scraps especially for these lessons.
  3. Cover the entire page with blocks of color.  I made mine into a sort of sunset. Miss.L10 made her picture of land and sky with clouds.
  4. Now cut out shapes that express the idea of a thing.  Not exact. No pre-drawing. Just freehand with your scissors!
  5. Paste the shapes on the page until it is full or tells a story.  It can be illogical – like fish in the sky, shapes in the negative space the suggest an object, random colors … “Matisse it!”
  6. Have fun, sign your name and hang it in the gallery!
  7. Quickly “Duster-Buster”  up all the little paper pieces on the floor!

An easy, fun Matisse art lesson!


6 thoughts on “Matisse Paper Cut-Outs

  1. Pingback: Fauvism, a new allegory of colors | Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing

  2. Thanks for the great idea ! The pictures you posted of your projects makes me want to dig into my paper scraps and get started with a fun project!


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