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Henri Matisse is one of my favorite artists and so I am always looking for new projects to share him with my students. This is a class I did this summer for kids ages 9 and up. I bought some new watercolor paper to try and it was so fun to work with. (Canson XL Watercolor pads) The sheets are 18×24, and 140 pound paper weight so you can erase a lot and it takes more abuse than a lighter weight paper. We also used Dick Blick liquid watercolors (update: I have since switched to Sargeant brand liquid watercolors, as the Dick Blick ones are now a new thicker formula). The liquid watercolors are so much easier to use for the larger paper format. The kids don’t have to stop and mix more color and so they had more success with their washes. We did a sample drawing first on a smaller sheet of paper, looking at Matisse’s original painting. I also gave them each a coloring sheet picture of the painting. I had them simplify their drawings and leave out some of the background foliage and details. We did the drawing and painting step by step, taking time to talk about proportion and reflections. This was a great lesson and they all ended up with some beautiful paintings.
*See my new Henri Matisse art lesson in my upcoming book! (Click here for more information)
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