Still Life Mat Board Masterpieces

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Students can reuse odd sized mat board pieces as surfaces for pencil crayon drawings.

By Gerald Cloud [Gerald is an artist and art educator from Maine.]

Ever wonder what to do with those saved mat board scraps (or other art papers that you’ve saved but don’t know what to do with)? Use them as innovative and colorful art backgrounds. Go “green” and reuse odd sized art boards for great new artworks: stretch your art supply budget!

Tip: If you go to framing shops, you might be able to get a donation of mat boards for your classroom.

What You Need:

  • Odd sized mat board pieces (any color, any shape, any size)
  • Pencils – #2 or HB
  • Prismacolor Art Pencils (a minimum of three colors: White, Black and 70% Warm Grey)
  • Optional: multicolor Prismacolor sets.

What You Do:

  1. Collect various sizes of mat boards or other art supports. (Size does not matter: even the smallest scrap can be reused).
  2. Set up a still life in bright light or have students bring or select objects to draw.
  3. Students draw lightly with #2 or HB pencils on the scrap mat or art boards.
  4. Drawings can be completed with the Prismacolor pencils.

Hints for Success:

  • Display still life objects in bright light to emphasize lights and shadow areas of the still life objects or set up.
  • Allow the background color of the mat board to become a major part of the total composition. See examples of mat board art!
  • Have fun with the mat board as an innovative art background color!

Still life drawing lesson for kids