Learn from the Masters – Henri Matisse’s Goldfish in Oil Pastels and Fauvism for kids

August 6,2021
Kids Education, Learn from the Masters, Online Art Classes

‘Learn from Masters’ blog series brings to you how kids learn to paint famous artworks at our online art classes and learn about the master painters. This week we talk about how kids can learn to draw and create the famous artwork by Henri Matisse – Goldfish. Learn about his life and history, and the fauvist style in his paintings.

Henri Matisse’s ‘Goldfish’ – Fun and Interactive Oil Pastel Artwork For Kids

Henri Matisse is known as a leading figure in modern art. As a draughtsman, painter, printmaker, and sculptor, he is considered responsible for major developments in the field of painting and sculpture during the early twentieth century.

Learn more about Henri Matisse’s life, his journey to success, and how kids learn to create ‘The Goldfish’ using the oil pastels medium at Nimmy’s Art.

Who was Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France. He stumbled upon art during a convalescence period while working as a court administrator. He discovered art to be ‘a kind of paradise’ and decided to become an artist.

Matisse was influenced by many master painters but he admired Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin‘s work the most. While learning art, he initially painted still life and landscapes. Later John Russell introduced him to Impressionism and the works of Van Gogh. This led Matisse to learn the color theory and he started to use intense colors in his paintings.

As Matisse’s art matured, he concentrated more on the simplification of form. He was bedridden in his last few years, which made it difficult for him to attempt drawing or painting. But his creative mind led him to inspire a new form of cut-out art which he called ‘drawing with scissors‘. While it began as small pieces of art, it eventually progressed to room-sized works.

“Creativity takes courage.” 

-Henri Matisse

Matisse’s painting style – Fauvism

Henri Matisse, along with André Derain, is considered to be a leader of Fauvism. Fauvism is a collection of artwork that are characterized by the use of bright and expressive colors and fierce brushwork.

Henri Matisse's Goldfish painting in oil pastels for kids
Goldfish painting in oil pastels for kids – Henri Matisse, Fauvist Artist, at the online art classes by Nimmy’s Art

Fauvism did not last long though. Most of the artists in the group moved away from it. They were inspired by the work of Paul Cézanne and his approach to art that demonstrated more order and structure. Henri Matisse, however, continued to show fauvistic traits in his work throughout his life.

Matisse was always applauded for his fluid and original drawings. In the early twentieth century, Matisse met Picasso. They went on to become friends as well as rivals. While Matisse’s artwork was more inspired by nature and real life, Picasso often experimented with different techniques and ideas.

How kids can learn to create art like Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse’s Goldfish painting is an oil on canvas painting that immediately catches our eye due to the bright colors, as is in most Fauves’ artworks. For our students in the online classes, we recreated the Goldfish painting using oil pastels medium which is more child-friendly than oil painting.

Artwork by students -  Henri Matisse's goldfish in oil pastels at online art classes by Nimmy's Art
Henri Matisse’s Goldfish by 8 – 12 years old students in oil pastels at Nimmy’s Art online art classes

In Matisse’s depiction of the goldfish in a glass jar, we can see the fishes in two different views. The first is the front view with a 3-dimensional perspective. This makes the details of the fish like their fins and eyes easily recognizable. Another perspective is from the top of the jar where the fish are merely identifiable by the flat brushstrokes. Matisse’s goldfish brigns together these two different viewpoints. For students in our 8- 12 years art classes, this clearly distinguishes between the representation of real objects in a pictorial space when seen from different perspectives.

Another important aspect is the impactful usage of colors in Matisse’s artwork. The bright orange color of the goldfish is surrounded by blue-green or yellow colors in the background. The use of complementary colors like orange and blue next to each other makes each of them appear brighter. To understand the usage of colors, we introduce the color wheel to the students in our online art lessons. Similar to Matisse’s Goldfish, we encourage kids to create artworks that make use of the placement of colors to create impact.

Benefits of Learning about Matisse and Fauvism in Visual Arts

To create an attractive painting, an important aspect to understand is the usage of colors. Young children love to play with their choice of colors while creating their own artwork. Understanding the concept of color harmony creates a strong foundation that guides the students to make a better placement of colors in their art while using their favorite colors.

Among the wide-ranging -isms in art history, children can easily identify with Fauvism due to the attractive and bold colors that are very common in most kids’ artworks. Due to this natural inclination, exposing kids’ to Fauvistic art like Matisse’s Goldfish inspires them to continue the strong color usage in their artworks just like the masters, while also educating them on how to use these colors the best by providing an understanding of the color theory.

Matisse’s Goldfish was an instant hit with students in our online courses.

 

What do you like the most about Matisse’s art?

Pick up your brush and create Fauvist art today. What colors would you choose for your painting? Join our online art courses to learn fine arts with fun.


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