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Create A Matisse Masterpiece - A Kids Art Project On Patterns

Updated on July 28, 2011

Making Your Own Matisse -Painting Patterns

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), was a painter from France, known for his beautiful lavish colors and playful patterns. He was originally known as a Fauvist painter, (see my Fauvist art project for kids), but also became known as a painter in the classical sense of French painting.

The project below explores Patterns . A Pattern is an object that repeats again and again. Some easy patterns to point out around you at any given time are: Stripes, Polka Dots and Checkerboard patterns. There's patterns in all of nature (See my Animal Pattern art project for kids), such as concentric circles or scales. Take a look at a piece of wood and see how the woodgrain repeats again and again - this is a pattern.

This project focuses on one painting, which is easy to find on the internet, or you can just copy it from below. It is a painting by Matisse entitled, "Purple Robe With Anemones". In it, is a central figure, sitting on a patterned chair next to a vase of flowers. The figure is wearing a robe which has a pattern on it. The flowers repeat making up their own pattern of colored dots, and the vase they sit in also has its own pattern, as well as the tablecloth on which the vase sits. The two walls behind the central figure and the floor also have their own patterns. Whew! That's a lot of patterns!

And, now....time to make your own Masterpiece!

Materials you will need: 

  • Two white sheets of thick paper that is appropriate to hold paint.  (8.5" x 11").
  • Assortment of Paint Brushes
  • Water Cup
  • Scissors
  • A Pencil
  • Glue Stick
  • Assortment of Paint, (Tempera, Poster or Acrylic)

How to Make Your Matisse Masterpiece

  1. Using a pencil, draw the woman sitting in the chair with the table and flowers.  
  2. Draw in a different pattern for her robe, any clothing you may see under the robe, the chair, the tablecloth and the flowers.
  3. Paint all of these patterns in.  Make sure each pattern is totally different with different vibrant colors in each pattern.
  4. Set her aside to dry.
  5. Make sure to either rinse out your paint brushes in between project parts, or keep them in the water cup so the paint doesn't dry to the bristles.
  6. Using a pencil, divide the second sheet of white paper into 3 sections.  Observe the samples below.  I recommend to the kids to draw the inside of a Peace sign, with the bottom two lines ending up above the corners of the paper by at least 3 fingers.  Now you have a floor and two walls!
  7. Draw in a pattern for each wall and the floor.  No patterns should repeat.
  8. Paint in the patterns of the walls and floor with vibrant colors.  No two should repeat in color, nor should they be the same as the woman that was already painted.
  9. Set aside to dry.
  10. Carefully, cut around the woman in her chair, with the table and flowers all in one big shape.
  11. When the walls and floor are dry, glue the back of the woman using your glue stick and firmly press her down so she's situated on the floor.  Press from the center outwards to make sure the glue doesn't get clumped under the paper.

Tips:  Take a look at a bunch of patterns before starting.  You can Google the word "Patterns" and look under images to see all the beautiful pictures that will help inspire creativity.

Clean Up:  Use a damp rag with mild detergent to wipe up any paint or glue.  Rinse out brushes with warm water and mild detergent.  If you're making this project on a nice piece of furniture, please take the time to cover it with plastic or newspapers.

And, remember:  Art is a practice.  The more you do it, the better it gets!

"Purple Robe with Anemones" after Matisse
"Purple Robe with Anemones" after Matisse


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      Roxie 6 years ago

      By accident I voted down. Oops! Then voted up. Yeah! I love this project because any child can create a masterpiece.

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      esther 8 years ago

      i wish if you could send me a painting