Sunday, August 8, 2010

Matisse Inspired Dancer Collage

Henri Matisse was a modern artist who became famous because of "Painting With Scissors" technique. Here is a very colorful, easy to do and fun activity I did whith my sixth graders. I got this art activity from www.depspace The kids really found it amusing.

1. Construction paper
2. Scissors
3. Glue

Step One: Making the Background
Get out your box of scrap paper, because this is what you've been saving it for! I give 1 sheet of 12" x 18" white construction paper to each student. They are required to fill up the background with large blocks of color.
I encourage curvy lines, angles, etc. Whatever shapes and patterns the students like. It's important to keep the blocks of color large so when the dancer is added, it won't be "lost" in the confusion.

Step Two: Making the DancerPut the background aside and show the students how to cut out a human figure. If you have "forms" in your classroom, this is a great time to use them. I make a paper figure using black construction paper. I show the kids how to cut folded paper to create two arms, two legs, etc. with just one cut. I stress oval shapes over rectangular shapes, but you'll get those too!

Step Three: Gluing the Dancer to the Background
Sounds easy, but believe me, this step can get messy. Biggest tip here is to tell the kids to lay out their dancer first. Arrange the pieces so that they can get a feeling for how a static figure looks compared to a figure in motion. Once the student is satisfied, then she can glue down the pieces.

Step Four: Dressing Your Dancer
Can't leave the dancer naked, although I have had a few kids try. This part of the lesson is especially fun for the girls. It's like playing with cut-outs. I show the kids how to make swingy skirts, crazy hair, bandeau tops, etc. Remind the kids not to use red hair if the background is red.

Step Five: Adding Details
If there is time, I show the kids how details can really finish the picture off. Like the tiny confetti squares shown above. It gives the dancer a real "kick". This is where kids can either get really creative or start gluing large sheets of paper over their figure. Don't be shy in whisking the artwork off their desk and congratulating them on creating such an enthusiastic, expressive piece.

Here are some of my Students' collage:

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