Just What is Picture Study?

Harmony Fine Arts What is Picture Study harmonyfinearts

Many times people ask me just what is picture study. Here are some simple steps that have worked for our family for many years.

Simple Steps for Picture Study


1. Choose the painting to be viewed.
2. Have the child sit quietly and just look at the painting.
3. After a time of looking, hide the painting from view and ask your child to tell you what he remembers about the painting. Have them list the literal objects they see in the painting like trees, people, animals, mountains, rivers, etc.
4. That’s it. It’s as simple as that.
5. To extend the activity for older students, you may have them sketch the painting from memory.

Harmony Fine Arts Plans include picture study in every year plan. Each week has a clickable link to an online image that you can use in your picture study.

If you are having trouble with your children narrating back what they see in the painting, you can go over some vocabulary with them so they have the words to give you.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

What kinds of lines do you see?

  • sharp
  • thick
  • jagged
  • heavy
  • choppy
  • vertical
  • diagonal
  • fuzzy
  • thin
  • curved
  • graceful

What kinds of textures do you see?

  • rough
  • smooth
  • hard
  • shiny

What shapes do you see?

  • circles
  • rectangles
  • triangles
  • squares

What colors do you see?

  • bright
  • dark
  • strong
  • reds/oranges/yellows
  • blues/greens/purples
  • browns/whites/grays

There is also a free printable you can use if you need a little something extra.

Harmony Fine Arts - Printable art cards

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