Modern Mattise

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modern matisse 12How do you suppose the “Goldfish” painting of Henri Matisse would look if he were painting it in the year 2014? Goldfish were a new craze in Europe in Henri Matisses’ time, and they became kind of an obsession with him for awhile. He painted his work of art called “Goldfish” in 1912. He has nine paintings that include goldfish in them. Probably the most outstanding thing about his goldfish painting is the bright orange color of the fish. They contrast beautifully with the bright greens of the plant leaves and the subtle pinks in the flowers and wallpaper. Using Henri Matisse’s painting as a starting point, we’ve changed the fish to tropical fish, instead of goldfish, and put them in a modern fishbowl.
This project includes patterns for the fishbowl in which fish and seaweeds are drawn, and a pattern with a dotted line that shows where to cut for the overlay picture. The Saran wrap is sandwiched between the two pages. This pattern allows the student to free-hand draw the table and plants. There is a separate pattern that has the table and leaves already drawn on it, to save time, for teachers who choose to use it.

• White construction paper
• Fishbowl (Pattern)
• Fishbowl with dotted cutting lines (Pattern)
• Fishbowl with dotted cutting lines, table and plants (Pattern)
• Pencil
• Crayons
• Colored markers
• Saran Wrap, or other clear paper
• Scissors, tape and glue stick


1. Print a copy of the fishbowl and either the fishbowl with cutting lines only, or the fishbowl with cutting lines and table and plants.

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2. With a pencil, draw fish and seaweeds in the fishbowl. Include rocks, coral and shells in the bottom of the bowl if you wish. Trace over the drawing with a fine black marker.
3. Use crayons to color everything except the fish and the seaweeds. Use colored markers to make bright colored fish and seaweeds.

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4. On the second fishbowl copy, the one with the dotted cutting lines, color the bowl on the outside of the dotted lines. Draw a table top and leaves and fashion wallpaper and plant leaves. Color.
5. Cut the center area out of the fishbowl, following the dotted lines.

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6. Fold a piece of Saran Wrap in half, place the folded edge along the water line of the fishbowl , with the fish drawn in, and tape to hold in place.
7. Line the two pictures together, with the Saran Wrap sandwiched between the two. Run a line of glue, one side at a time, to adhere the pictures together.

1st Grade Project Gallery:


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