Overlapping Matisse Shapes

I combined an overlapping lesson with Matisse-like shapes to make a colorful drawing exercise. You could begin by talking about how Matisse didn’t start painting until he was about 20 years old, but then would paint morning, noon and night for pretty much the rest of his life. He eventually became a key figure in the world of modern art.
1. I had a lot of scrap chip board on hand and first gave the students several squares and rectangles they could spread out on their paper and trace for the background.
2. I passed out organic-looking shapes I had cut from posterboard to imitate the leafy and flowery shapes in many of Matisse’s most famous paintings. My students were just kinder and 1st grade, so they got a lot of tracing practice. Older students could draw these shapes freehand. To make the organic shapes look as if they were all in front, all lines inside of them were erased before coloring.
3. All shapes were traced in oil pastels and colored in as solidly as possible.

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