The image above is a sample piece for this project. (The beasts of the tropical jungle, 2013)
This is a great art project to do with elementary aged kids or anyone who likes to cut up paper and collage.
Supplies: magazines, construction paper (sugar paper for you Brits), scissors, drawing paper, pencil, glue
Skills learned through this project: fine motor skills – cutting; spacial perception; Identifying shapes; Identifying colors; Color theory concepts – primary colors : red, yellow, blue and complimentary colors: red & green, purple & yellow, orange & blue; understanding positive and negative space; understanding the design process.
Artist link : Henri Matisse ( look for his piece titled “Les betes de la mer, 1950” to view with your children) *always remember to do searches and preview websites before allowing your children to look at them as there is always a possibility of inappropriate content for young viewers.*
1. First, show your kids images of Matisse’s collage work. I like La Bete De La Mer – google it.
2. Discuss his use of color and shapes that reflect the sea.
3. Have the kids choose their favorite place – sea, forest, jungle, …. (I chose tropical jungle.)
4. Gather pictures related to their favorite place.
5. Look at the pics and discuss the colors they see and have them identify shapes. (I put elements from a tropical jungle in my collage. I used warm colors to portray the heat and cool to portray the lush botanical life that provide shade. There are vine shapes, flower shapes and tiger stripes.)
6. Choose your colors and collect some construction paper in those colors. (sugar paper for you Brits). This is where you can talk about primary and secondary colors. (primary = red , blue, yellow; secondary = Orange, purple and green) Point how Matisse would layer his colors with a secondary over a primary or vice versa. He also would put complimentary colors together. (ie. red and green, purple and yellow, or orange and blue)
7. Cut out eight squares of color. (4 for the right column and 4 for the left)
8. Draw shapes found in your chosen habitat and then cut them out of different colored papers.
9. Arrange your square columns and then play around with the overlapping colored shapes. (Matisse often played with positive and negative spaces. Notice this by looking for the tiger stripes in my sample.)
10. After you are happy with your arrangement, glue them down with a glue stick. Then display your beautiful art.
I hope you enjoy this project.