A Colourful Mini Matisse Activity


Shannon Wong-Nizic is the ringleader behind bright and ever-cheerful Oh Creative Day blog. I’m so delighted that she’s sharing one her projects with Artsplorers – a Matisse inspired paper cutting craft activity that can be adapted for even the littlest art aficionados. And, for those of us easily intimidated by craft – fear not, this one can be mastered by all!
Thanks so much for the inspiration, Shannon!

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Bob the Blackbird is ridiculed for his skinny legs. He goes to the gym, restaurants- anything to try and bulk up those skinny pins. One day, he ends up at the Art Gallery.


Inspired by the techniques of different artists, Bob decides to draw attention to another body part- his beak. Each day he paints his beak in a different style. Pollock! Matisse! Mondrian! Bob begins to realise that being different is actually a positive thing.
Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars beautifully explores the themes of self-expression, the power of art and creative thinking. This is Marion Deuchars’ first picture book but you may be familiar with her “Let’s Make Some Great Art” activity books.


Bob the Artist is a favourite at our place. It inspired this simple paper-cutting activity, drawing upon the techniques of Matisse.


What You’ll Need:
Scraps of coloured paper or card (or you could paint your own sheets of paper)
A Glue stick
A sheet of white paper (we used A3)



Did you know that in the final decade of his life, Matisse used a paper cutting technique to create some of his signature pieces? His assistants would paint large sheets of paper. Matisse would then cut shapes from these sheets and arrange them into compositions.


I completed this activity with my almost-3-year-old a few months ago. At this point in time, she had very basic scissor skills. So we studied some of the shapes on the Matisse page in Bob the Artist and looked at some of Matisse’s works. We talked about different shapes and their lines- a great vocab-building activity! She instructed me on the types of shapes to cut out. She now is much more skilled with scissors so I would love to try this activity with her again, handing complete ownership of the process over to her. This activity would be fantastic for older children with competent cutting skills.

Once we had a collection of shapes, I let my mini-artist go wild with the glue stick. (Seriously, what kid doesn’t love some glue stick action?!) We talked about filling the page with the different shapes and discussed how some shapes would overlap.

A super simple activity, abundant with discussion possibilities requiring minimal materials and clean-up. Win!
Many thanks to Thames and Hudson Australia for our copy of Bob the Artist.

Shannon is a mum and a teacher who harbours the desire to be a published picture book author. But first she needs to figure out what’s on for dinner. She blogs at Oh Creative Day where she celebrates her perfectly imperfect attempts to live a creative life. AKA trying to remain sane whilst raising 2 kids under 3. She has an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest, coffee and pom poms.
You can find Shannon on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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