Beasts of the Sea | "Learn to Watercolor" Project
from the "Learn to Watercolor" Project Index

Print this "Learn to Watercolor" project and grab a brush. You are 5 steps away from a fantastic watercolor painting!

Beasts of the Sea by Henri Matisse | "Learn to Watercolor" Project

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This watercoloring lesson introduces the art of French modern artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Following a step-by-step approach, you'll learn basic watercolor painting techniques as you create a painting combining elements from his paper collage masterpiece Beasts of the Sea (1950).

Step 1
Photocopy the following shapes onto cardstock, cut them out, and then set them aside.

Step 2
Paint a flat wash for both of the blue blocks of color. To do this, you will tape the corners of your watercolor paper to a board and rest your board at a slight angle to the table. Then, with a wet brush, paint 4 to 5 horizontal strokes of watercolor paint. Each stroke should slightly overlap the last, and should be painted rather quickly to avoid streaks. With a dry brush, slurp up the bead of watercolor paint at the bottom of the wash.

Step 3
Repeat Step Two for the green and gray washes. Remember to allow the watercolor paint to dry completely before painting another wash. (You might want to use your mom's hair dryer to move things along.)

Step 4
Place your cut-outs on top of your painting, and trace the shapes with a pencil.

Step 5
Your painting is almost finished. Darken the shapes that you traced with a black marker, and a few more interesting shapes that you see in Matisse's Beasts of the Sea. That's it!


If your watercolor painting didn't turn out as well as you hoped, try painting it again. Every talent takes time to master. If you apply yourself, you will be great!









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