We love art. Mr. T especially. He’s great at our more Charlotte Mason style studies, but since we’ve been studying American artists that are more recent in our Classical Conversations studies, I thought a study of Modern Art would be fun. Hands on is, in my opinion, the best way to help solidify art in the minds of young students.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Children’s Book of Art from DK Publishers for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review*
Methods, types of art, and specific artists and styles have all been covered using a wonderful book from DK Publishers, Children’s Book of Art. I love the way that the book weaves facts, artists, and time periods into a short and cohesive entertaining visual that keeps young scholars engaged. And it’s so full of so many wonderful facts and history, it’s like an elementary or middle grades art appreciation overview class.
Picasso for Elementary Grades
Mr. T decided that, without a doubt, Picasso was a silly man. He also dubbed his picture inspired by Weeping Woman “Silly Bad Guy”. We have a thing for “good” and “bad” guys right now.
After he drew his picture on his canvas (which was part of a pack of twelve 5×7 flats I got for a great price), he began by coloring it one pencil at a time, and then decided to get Picasso’s look, he needed to use as many pencils as he could fit in his hands. Which is pretty efficient and not surprising for a Kindergartener. 🙂
The Children’s Book of Art features several individual artists and has a timeline of their lives, key influencers of their style, brief biographies, and a few select pieces with a “study” of the main piece. Everything is kept very brief, so it’s easy to do a single “lesson” if you want to incorporate a project. There are even projects suggested in the book, and a few lessons on different media like watercolors.
Van Gogh for Elementary Grades
We did a fun little project inspired by Starry Night. An older student could easily sketch and draw out the shapes in glue. For Mr. T, I did that part. You simply trace over your pencil sketch with the glue, allow it to dry, and then use watercolor to paint over it. The effect is a fun way to add texture similar to the appearance of Van Gogh pieces. And watercolors are easy to clean up.
You can see Mr. T’s finished piece here. He loves to study the art and try to imitate it with his own spin. Which is exactly how all these artists in the Children’s Book of Art began. Letting our little ones explore their creative sides is such an important way to get their creative juices and a love for beauty and art going!
And here’s my “demo” piece for our Classical Conversations lesson on Roy Lichtenstein. He is featured in the Children’s Book of Art in the “Art in War” selections. His style is so fun because it’s all dots, comic bubbles, and bright colors. We used Q-Tips in class to create our dots, and black sharpie on our 5×7 canvas sheets for the bold outline. It’s a fun and easy project!
After we were finished with our projects, Mr. T got his book out, a canvas, paints, and proceeded to draw and paint his tutor, Mrs. Carrie. It was very cubist, and very sweet. I believe art is an integral part of learning, and one I am so glad we can incorporate in our homeschool!
We are excited to begin using our new found art book to study and make sculptures! Do you study art in your homeschool? Why or why not?