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My Preschooler’s Artist Projects: Matisse, Van Gogh, and Suerat

One night at dinner, my son was playing with his food – I said, “I made dinner so that you would eat it, not turn it into an art project.” He looked over at me, and said, “do you mean I am an artist like Henri Matisse?”

Um what? Henri Matisse? Where did you learn that one?

It turns out that my son and his friends at school were working on surprise projects for their Art Show at school, and had been studying various Artists including Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, and George Suerat. With his leg injury, we wound up having to do a couple of his projects at home, and we both had a blast.

Here are the three artists, the projects, and our results! Give it a try and feel free to post your pictures to the MMB Facebook page!

The credit for this idea goes to my son’s preschool teacher…honestly – some people have the crafty gene, and some people don’t (I am in the “don’t camp” – big time!!).

Henri Matisse: Painting with Scissors (this was our favorite!)

In 1941, Henri was diagnosed with an incurable disease that disabled him and kept him from walking. Painting became difficult for him but he did not let his disability get in the way – he expressed himself through cut outs, called Painting with Scissors. 

Supplies needed: Colored Construction paper, white tag board, glue, scissors

Directions: Give your child white tag board and the colored construction paper, have them use the scissors to cut out shapes (My son used the scissors or ripped the paper, whatever works for your child’s skill level!). Have your child glue their shapes onto the white tag board.

Vincent Van Gogh: The Starry Night

The Starry Night is Van Gogh’s most famous painting. The lines are thick and appear painted over and over; the lines are mostly curved; the textures are rough. The colors used are orange, yellow, green, purple, and white, but the ones repeated most are black, orange, and yellow. 

Supplies needed: paint brushes, white tag board, paint (orange, yellow, green, purple, and white).

Directions: Show your child the picture of “The Starry Night” (you can print it out right from Wikipedia, that is where I got this photo from), explain some of the techniques used. Allow them to paint their own version referring back to the picture.


George Suerat: Pointillism

Suerat utilized pointillism – he used many little dots to produce a realistic image. His paintings were tricky on the eyes…when viewed from a distance, the points blended into a picture, when seen up close you could see all the tiny points or dots. 

Supplies needed: White tag board, q tips, paint

Directions: Give each child a sheet of white tag board, q-tips, and paint; have your child use their q-tips to paint a picture utilizing pointillism; ask your child what they created (if it isn’t obvious of course!).


Here are the results of our projects…notice both pictures are ” A Path” – one is a path to Radiator Springs. We are a bit Cars-Obsessed here:)



Veronica - July 30, 2012 - 10:03 pm

I love these! You’re little man is quite an artiste in his own right!

larissa - July 22, 2016 - 3:53 pm

This is really great. It is always inspiring to see the younger generation getting into art and loving the beautiful artistic works of art. Thanks so much for sharing!

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