Monday, August 10, 2009

Artist Studies

This term our artist is Casper David Friedrich. He is not someone I had ever heard of before, but I tend to pull my artist from previous years Ambleside recommendations, so that I can glean from the archives, and because we often start school before the current terms works are selected. Over the summer the older two learned cursive, so I used the idea from Queen Homeschool and interweaved artist study with cursive. I had the six paintings printed at Walmart as 8x10’s. I then typed in a cursive font a sentence about the painting or the artist for them to copy each day. I put all of this in a pronged folder. On the first Friday of a painting study the children are asked to do a blind placement sketch of the painting. This is when the children draw as much about the painting as they can remember without looking at it. On the second Thursday and Friday the children are asked to attempt to recreate the painting as best they can with whatever art medium they choose. They may look at it this time.

This was the painting from the first two weeks:

Here is Aubrey's recreation:

Brennen is doing our typical method of study which is to once or twice a week study the painting and then hide it and tell me all he can remember. To this we occasionally add some other form of narration such as sketching, acting out the painting or discussing it. For him it is a short ten minute a week study. He spends two weeks per painting, six paintings by one artist. The older children have done this since the beginning and we love the collection of beautiful paintings that are now familiar friends, which we have gained.

This is the painting we began studying last week and are continuing this week. Brennen's blind narration was, "There's a guy on a rock and there is fog, and mountains. There's two mountains in the fog. It's light and there's a little tiny bit of yellow in the fog."

For the younger children we use the “Childsized Masterpiece” program. This is a Montessori type approach to art study and builds from matching paintings, to recognizing paintings by artist to learning to recognize the different schools of art throughout history. These are kept in folders and worked on as the child desires or as I reintroduce them, so there is no schedule. Even Seth is able to work at the second level with these, which is to match different paintings by the same artist, and differentiate them from paintings by other artists. We work with six pairs at a time as any more does overwhelm him.

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