I majored in art history in college. But then I changed my major to graphic design. Then to business. Then I switched back to art history. Ultimately I graduated with a liberal studies degree. Any hoot, my love of art is quite deep.


Matisse happens to be one of my favorite artists because of his use of color and white space. So to learn more about him, we made some Matisse-inspired art. Here's what we did: 


First, we read Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars. You can buy it here. I highly recommend.


Bob the Artist is about Bob. He is like any other bird except for one thing - he has unusually skinny legs. When Bob is teased about them, he does everything to make his legs appear bigger. When that doesn’t work, what’s Bob to do? He accentuates his beak with a series of inspired art masterpieces of course! Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars is a neat picture book that teaches young readers to be confident in being themselves through the power of art.

To make this collage, you will need colorful paper, a pencil, scissors, glue, and white butcher paper. Then you trace a shape and cut it out. It's that simple!


My students really enjoyed this activity because there were no boundaries to the assignment. They could make up their own shape instead of re-creating fundamental shapes like circles, ovals, rectangles, and squares.

Plenty of cutting = PAPER PARTY!!!


Once all the shapes are cut out. it's time to talk about white space and how colors interact with each other. Then it's time to lay out their cut-outs onto the large, white butcher paper.


Don't glue anything down just yet. Make sure all the shapes compliment each other. Once you have an arrangement the entire class agrees on, it's time to glue. I instructed my students to glue down the side with the pencil markings to gain a more professional look. 


TA DA! Matisse is alive! My students especially enjoyed this activity because of its endless possibilities, but also because of its collaborative nature. They liked creating one GINORMOUS masterpiece instead of individual ones. It's a win. WIN!