Mad about Matisse

It’s no secret….I am absolutely MAD about MATISSE.  I have probably mentioned my love of Matisse in several blogs, so I will spare you all the details, but I still have to share this darling, darling project I am doing with Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  Parents: this project is definitely getting hung on the fridge, somewhere, anywhere!

As you might recall, I taught the students how to create one of Matisse’s most famous designs a couple of weeks ago.

Well this week we are using those prints and creating a Still Life of a table with a vases of flowers.  Everything is patterned: Henri Matisse-Style!

We cut out a table, and then we cut out a vase.  We glued the vase onto the center of our “table”.  I guided the students into creating a variety of Matisse designs on the vase and wall paper. We finished by adding flowers of course!

Check out our beautiful results!!


The Art Buffet

This week has been jam packed with so many different art projects, that I am referring to it as the Art Buffet.  And the title is actually very fitting for the first project I am going to introduce you to:

Now Presenting: My Favorite Family Meal

Students in 5th grade were asked to write about their favorite family meal in their sketchbooks.  They had to go into detail with it: who makes it, how often do they get to eat it, what’s in it, how does it taste, how is made, etc.  After the written description they had to draw a picture of it and THEN they were asked to create a paper collage of the meal.  They came out fantastic, and I was super appreciative of students adding details such as silverware, ice cubes, spices, etc.  It’s the little things that make all the difference in a masterpiece 😉

Next up: Weaving with 3rd Grade

I introduced 3rd and 4th graders to the wonderful world of weaving.  This was a very in depth process and both grades rose to the challenge.  They learned how to thread a loom and how to weave and switch colors.  They got really into it: the concentration levels were through the roof!

Under the Sea Value Studies & Perspective with 4th Grade

I know….I know….I love under the sea stuff….this will be the last ocean inspired project for a while!  I promise.  Anyhoo, I taught 4th grade how to paint using value with watercolor.  This week they added sea creatures using perspective.  I asked them to pretend they’re at the bottom of the ocean and they had to draw large and small fish in relation to how close they were to them aka Perspective!

Matisse with Kindergarten

Not only do I love under the sea creatures: I also love the artist Henri Matisse!  Kindergarten learned about the wonderful artist Matisse and his use of bright colors and patterns.  I taught them how to illustrate one of his most famous patterns too!


All in all: a very lovely week full of variety!

Space…the Final Frontier?

A lot of times when we hear the word space – we think of outer space.  In Art however, space means something a tad bit different.  I have been really focusing on the elements of art this week with 5th-7th grade.  5th and 6th grades have been learning about the element of Space and what that means in Art.  They have learned about background, foreground, mid-ground, horizon lines and vanishing points.  One of the biggest concepts I’ve been teaching them is how objects appear smaller in the background and larger in the foreground.

I showed the 5th and 6th grade students how to illustrate a sun-set desert scenery with cacti that get smaller in the distance.  I also showed them how to illustrate a bedroom using perspective.  This always get the students tremendously excited because they can design their own rooms.

Here are examples of what the kids have been doing:

3rd and 4th grade have been working on one of my most favorite lessons to teach: Matisse Mugs.  If you’ve read my first entry, you would have seen that Matisse is my favorite painter.  I love his use of patterns and bright colors.  Although they may seem amatuer to someone who’s not familiar with art – Matisse was actually an incredible painter.

Students viewed a few of his pieces that are very patterned.



They noticed the warm colors and cool colors (and pointed out it appears to be the same woman in both paintings) and identified patterns.  Then they got to work creating a still-life mug, using either warm or cool colors, followed by illustrating Matisse-inspired patterns.  **Fun Fact- the painting on the right sold for $33 million dollars**

Here are a few of the beautiful results.  Parents: you might want to frame some of these and hang them in your kitchen…especially if you are an avid coffee drinker like myself.

Finally, we have been doing rainy day wax resists in nursery school – 2nd grade.  Students start off by illustrating rain with white crayon on white paper (last week).  When they first do this – they’re a little confused because they can’t see anything.  But then the “magic” part happens (as I call it).  We paint over the white rain with variations of blue paint and the rain “magically” appears.  They love it.

This week we made umbrellas to glue onto our rainy day paintings.

I also seized the opportunity to teach them about the colors of the rainbow, however they already knew them – so I was pleasantly surprised…