20 September 2009

Master Study: Henri Matisse

Designing and facilitating an informal art session with adults is an enjoyable activity. Some adults do not have any experience in either drawing or painting. And since the craft of painting requires the knowledge of at least the basics of line drawing, I prefer to challenge students by making them study and try to execute a work by a master artist.

Henri Matisse's The Purple Robe can be executed in both watercolor pencils or acrylic paint. Those who are adept in doing line drawings can use the pencils, while those who get intimidated and might take longer with drawings (the session is only for two hours), I encourage them to use acrylic paints by diluting the paint with water for line drawing:

We do the drawing and painting together, step-by-step, amidst fun and lively conversations. The idea is not to copy the painting exactly, but to get the play of lines, colors and strokes. After all, the session is also a study in art appreciation. Students can train their eyes to appreciate the artist's composition and painting technique. And the finished work in an hour:

And here's one using watercolor pencils:

And the same plate but this time the student "painted" the watercolor to achieve a painting effect:

And guess which of the paintings my dog Sweepy chose?