Observe the painting style of French artist Henri Matisse. Create mood with color and a soft edge painting technique!
French artist Henri Matisse was well known for his use of color to create mood, especially in portraits, and his loose painting style. How can color create mood? Think of some moods with your class. What colors would you chose to illustrate those moods? Why? View some examples of Matisse’s paintings. What moods are portrayed in his works?
Notice Matisse’s painting style. He paints bold, solid areas of color and simplified forms. Yet in some areas, he lets the colors blend together. That technique is called soft edge painting.
Paint a self-portrait in the style of Matisse using the soft edge technique. Cover your work area with recycled newspaper and have clean water handy to wash your brush between colors. Younger students may want to wear a Crayola® Art Smock. Start by lightly sketching your self-portrait with Crayola Colored Pencils on a heavy sheet of white paper. Simplify the shapes in your portrait as Matisse did.
Load a brush with Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint and begin filling in the forms with bold colors. Lightly stroke a dampened brush across wet paint or paint adjacent color onto damp paper to blend one color into another. Try making a long stroke of one color, then immediately paint a lighter or darker color along the stroke edge to create a softly blended highlight or shadow effect. Think about how the colors you choose will portray a mood. What mood do you want your self-portrait to reflect?
Allow your painting to dry completely and then mount it with clear adhesive tape to a colored paper that is reflective of the mood portrayed in the portrait.
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