Posts Tagged ‘Matisse’


Paul Cezanne, The Basket of Apples c. 1893 25 7/16 x 31 1/2 in. (65 x 80 cm) Art Institute of Chicago

The same Fifth graders who got into Abstract Expressionism tried their hands at Post-Impressionism. And, it was a sunny day just a week before school let out. So they weren’t exactly calm, and yet did fabulous work. The image above is the inspiration, which the kids each talked about – things like the color juxtapositions, how he made the fruit look round, the strange perspective that makes the table look tipped. We also looked at images of paintings by Henri Matisse.IMG_0424smallIMG_0422smallIMG_0423smallIMG_0420smallIMG_0421smallIMG_0418smallIMG_0419smallIMG_0416smallIMG_0417smallIMG_0414smallIMG_0415smallIMG_0412smallIMG_0413smallIMG_0410smallIMG_0411smallIMG_0408smallIMG_0409small


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This was the most challenging project to date: to paint a still life of fruit – and to mix colors, and to try to use color complements. The children were a little hesitant at the beginning, but worked hard.

A color’s complement is the color that is opposite on the color wheel; so red’s complement is green, and yellow’s is purple and so on. Any color when it’s placed next to its complement appears brighter and more intense. It’s a great trick for artists of any age.

Probably none of the kids got that far, but each time we’ll talk about that idea. 4th and 5th graders are ready to add more shading, shadows and highlights; they like that. It’s fun to do in the style of Matisse – big dark outlines of things.

This session we looked at pictures of still lifes by Matisse, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, all of fruit. We chose one to talk about, going around with each kid saying what they liked or noticed about the picture.

A Still Life by Henri Matisse

The kids all had tempera paint in primary colors and a paper plate for mixing, as well as brushes, water, and folded paper towels for blotting their brush after washing.

For subject I’d brought in apples, Satsumas, bananas and green pears, and colored cloth napkins.

The kids did great! The one photo of all the work on the bulletin board is funky because we could not get the Promethean Board to move. It knows I wish the district had got projectors instead.

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