Matisse Inspiration Shapes

Easy Matisse Art Project for Kids: 3 Techniques

Inspired by the creativity of Matisse, we’ve developed three different ways you can explore color, shape and style, meaning this project can be used for any age, ability or setting. We’ve created some easy, ready-made shapes for you that can be cut out to create a collage or make stencils, but we’ve also included an inspiration page to encourage older children to draw freely and create their own shapes. Technique 1: Cutout Collage Technique 2: Simple Stenciling Technique 3: Experimental: Playing with colour and positive/negative space

What you need:

White cardstock for painting and printing. Paint Paintbrushes or Sponges Cardboard (for scrape painting)

Technique 1: Cutout Collage

Cut Out the Shapes

Start by carefully cutting out each of the different shapes.

Stick the Cutouts

Start to think about color and design and stick the first few shapes onto your paper. Are you creating an abstract picture? Perhaps you’re expressing an emotion?

Secure all the Pieces, Layer and Collage

Stick the rest of the shapes onto your paper, layering up, to create your own unique Matisse-inspired collage.

Technique 2: Simple Stenciling

Create Henri Mattisse Stencils

If you made sure to cut out your shapes super carefully, you’re left with some perfect Matisse stencils to paint with!

Fill with Paint and Carefully Remove

Choose a stencil, place onto a fresh sheet of paper and paint your shape – remember that Matisse used fun, bright colours! Slowly lift your stencil, taking care not to smudge the edges.

Layer the Shapes

Layer up different colours and shapes to create a simple stencilled masterpiece that Matisse would be proud of!

Technique 3: Experimental: Playing with colour and positive/negative space

Apply Paint to White Cardstock

This is a fun one! Start by putting blobs of different colored paint down each side of a fresh sheet of card.

Scrape the Paint

Using a square of cardboard, scrape the paint across the card. Think about how the paint blends together and how you can create bold, vibrant colours. Sweep the card slow, then fast – does it make a different pattern?

Use the Stencils to Create Layers

Now you have a striking, colorful background – this is called Positive Space. Once dry, overlay the stencils and use black and white paint to create a layered design – this will be your Negative Space. How does this change the feeling of your art, the texture, depth and color?


Creative and fun art & craft ideas for parents and educators of children 3-8 years old.

DIY art & craft projects and printable templates, activities, how-to-draw guides, colouring pages and more in the Arty Crafty Kids Members Area!

Happy Crafting!

Helen x

Free eBook & Templates

Sign-up for our weekly Arty Crafty Kids email and we’ll send you our popular Pet Pals eBook with Free Printable Templates!

    Arty Crafty Kids © 2018 – Positive Flow Creates Ltd (Co Reg No. 10628790)