Matisse's garden Art project & book review

Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

Matisse's garden Art project & book review


My favorite activity is popping into a book store to browse. I hardly do it anymore mostly because bookstores aren’t as plentiful. And doesn’t Amazon make it easy to buy your favorite books?

But as I was walking down Sate Street last week with my daughter, we popped into The Santa Barbara Museum of Art book store. Nothing makes me happier than being immersed in colorful children’s book covers, except maybe art books written for children.

Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman is a must have book for your art room library. It moves past Matisse’s back story and dives straight into the process of creating art, choosing colors and seeing art in a new way. And if you don’t have any of Matisse’s works of art nearby, there are eight reproductions you can use to show your students. Nice, huh?

I love the illustrations by Cristina Amodeo. Perhaps a little less saturated than I prefer but still lovely and appealing.

I was so inspired that I decided to draw my own little Matisse Garden inspired by Amodeo’s illustrations. Here’s a video that shows how to use basic markers to draw organic shapes and create a composition of your own.

I used a simple sketchbook and Faber-Castell broad-tip markers. I tried really hard to leave the colors flat, like Matisse, but I couldn’t resist. In the end, I grabbed a Sharpie and outlined the flowers. You are either in one camp or another. I almost always outline but I love the organic beauty of not outlining, too.

Easy drawing and coloring project for kids based on Matisse's Garden,

I know. So many tough decisions in art-making.

Which do you prefer? Outlining or not?


Quick and easy marker art project for kids based on the book Matisse's Garden




What do you think?

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  • Alice

    For me, I find the shapes to be powerfully subtle when unadorned, thus allowing the colors to speak for themselves. Both are attractive, in their own way..

  • Carol Sloan

    I like both of the style, without lines and with lines. You may want to let the students decide which style they like?

  • Carol

    I really enjoy the variety of both patterns, lined and not outlined..Would consider and allow addaptation for older students or advanced to choose colors base on color themes

  • Jennifer Fraunfelder

    I am so in to the outlines. They give the drawing more depth in my opinion and make the colors and images “pop.

  • Cindi

    I also like outlining because of the “fullness” it adds to the design. Your outlining immediately caught my eye and made me want to open the link to read this!

  • betsy brooker

    love it


    Hello, I am a bit confused. Is being a sparkler and a member different? I joined DSS and was getting access to art bundles and lessons earlier,but am not able to do so now. Could you please help?

    • Patty

      Please contact and ask your question there. Thanks!

    • dtheil45

      Did you get help? Did you get the access you wanted? Theses are good questions for any of us who are wondering if this is a good program to invest in….. makes me wonder the way you pushed her off ……customer service is important!

      • Patty

        We ask our members to connect through our support email so we can check accounts, access, etc. Blog comments are public so it’s not always a great place to start conversations that concern membership access questions. If you have any questions about the membership, you can always reach out to our support department . We’re a small team so the answers are personal 🙂

  • Hilke Nel

    Love this idea so simple yet effective way of teaching shape and colour

  • Suzzie H

    Wow! Can’t wait to try this!

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