Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Art and Picture Study Details

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!


Bright Ring said...

Thank you for mentioning the book I wrote about great masters for kids... "Discovering Great Artists". Please invite your readers to visit my website for free sample art ideas from that book and from all the other 20 or so art books I've written. You'll love "Great American Artists for Kids"!
And come and see my blog too! Lots more art ideas are shared there...
Thank you again,
MaryAnn Kohl

Jessica said...


Thank you for your comment. It is quite exciting to receive a comment from the author of one of our favorite books! We do plan to use "Great American Artists" as soon as we have made it through "Discovering Great Artists". I took a minute to go look at some of your other books and I can't wait to see "Storybook Art"! I haven't had an opportunity to check out your other books, but I look forward to doing so.

Angela said...

We're just starting our Artist Study and using all the resources mentioned! Thanks MaryAnn for chiming in, your book is so great! We have almost all your books. :)

I just got the Notebooking pages from that site a month ago, this will be the first time we'll use them.

Here's a handy list of artists and the corresponding Venezia books: