Drawing with Scissors

Hello there!

Do you know about the artist Henri Matisse? Well, he was an unstoppable artist who never gave up. Henri was one of those few fortunate artists who were well known when they were ALIVE! He was famous for his canvases that burst with color and pattern for most of his adult life. When he was older and unable to stand and paint, he began making collages using hand painted papers. Here is a photo I captured from an exhibition at MoMA a few years back. Henri’s actual treasures! Can you believe it?


Third grade studies collage to grasp a deeper understanding of line, gesture and form. Inspired by Henri, we decided to mix colors and create our own hand painted papers. Aren’t they purdy?!


After making them, we practiced drawing with our scissors.
How do you do that, do you ask?
Simply pick up your scissors and a fresh slice of paper and see where those sharp teeth lead you.


Here is where you must TRUST YOUR HANDS. Notice how your hands naturally move and then own your style.

Cut, notice, decide what you like and what you don’t like. And pick up your scissors and try again. Do this 1 million times.


Henri would seek out help from assistants to manipulate his cut-outs on the wall. If I ever acquire a large empty wall, he will be my inspiration.


Students use a selection of hand-painted papers and packaged colors to cut organic forms. We keep them organized by color to help us find the right hue.

We think about how composition is a collaboration between shape and space and test out a variety of situations. We use both positive and negative cut-outs to layer our colorful assemblages. We ALWAYS PLAY FIRST before gluing down our designs. This allows us to test out new ideas and practice the art of RISK TAKING. We find it helpful to take a photo of our first design just in case we want to revert back to our original design and we forget the composition.

We use the floor to spread out without interfering with the other artists at our table.


Or we use the wall like Henri!


Thank you, Henri Matisse, for not giving up even when your body was tired. You are an inspiration for many and we love your style of shape and form!

What do you like to use when you make collages? Have you made your own hand-painted papers? Do you enjoy using patterned papers? Candy wrappers? Newspaper? Cardboard?
Do you play with your shapes before gluing them down? 

Visit our Etsy shop to purchase stickers, posters and pins to promote
playfulness in your work space.

Have a colorful day,

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