For artist study we are studying only 3 artist per year in-depth. This year those artists are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. We study six works of art by each artist, which is one work every two weeks.
On the first day of a new artist we read a book about him. So far our favorite books have been the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series by Mike Venezia.
Then we fill out an artist biography notebooking page about the artist. (I've made up my own for other artists based on this basic template.)
Lastly, we begin looking at our first selection of the artist's work. We spend only a couple of minutes looking at it. Then I ask a few questions from this list.
This is the only day that art takes very long, and it only happens three times per school year! That's manageable for me!
The second week that we study a work of art we try to reproduce it, or do a coloring page on the piece if I have one. If we're running short on time we simply study the work for a few more minutes and I ask a few different questions to get them thinking about the art.
For once weekly art projects we're using Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl. I love this book! If you haven't seen it I highly recommend that you use Amazon's Look Inside! feature. (Be sure to read author MaryAnn Kohl's comment below this post, in the comments section!) We read the brief biography of the artist and fill out the name, dates lived, and location born on a biography notebooking page for them, then we get to the project.
I love that the artists are in chronological order, it just seems to fit with the classical model. The boys' art notebooks are like little art timelines.
I take a picture of each project and print it on cardstock (I don't worry about being fancy and printing on photo paper.) Then we tape it to the notebooking page. Done with art!