Henri Matisse | Painting with Scissors
from the Lesson Zone Index

Students will be introduced to the art of French modern artist Henri Matisse, and will recreate a work of their own after one of his cut-outs. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

Colored Construction Paper
Glue Stick

Step 1
Tell students, "We will be learning about the art of French artist Henri Matisse. This modern artist created a collection of artworks with a technique he referred to as "painting with scissors."

Step 2
Show students Matisse's cut-out collages, Icarus (1947), Japanese Mask (1950), and The Snail (1953) as examples of this style.

Step 3
Tell students, "These works were created late in Matisse's life when he was confined to a wheelchair, and could not paint anymore."

Step 4
Tell students, "While these cut-outs look very simple to make, it takes a special talent to cut out and arrange these shapes, as well knowing which colors will work well together to make the most interesting picture."

Step 5
Tell students, "Our art project will be to create your own version of one of these art masterpieces."

Step 6
Tell students, "At your tables you will find construction paper in a variety of colors. Begin by deciding which cut-out you would like to recreate.

Step 7
Tell students, "Take a sheet of white paper from the middle of the table, and place it in front of you. This piece of paper will be the paper to which all of your cut out shapes are glued."

Step 8
Tell students, "Select the construction paper that you will need to complete the project. Sketch the shapes lightly on the construction paper with your pencil. When the shape looks right, cut it out and place it on the white paper."

Step 9
Tell students, "When you are happy with your collage, glue all the pieces in place."

As the students work, you can quiz them on a few facts about Henri Matisse.

Have Fun!






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