Picture Study for Older Children

As high school students, picture study as a means of art appreciation can be very enjoyable. The boys are old enough to take the assignment on their own and view as many paintings as they wish for our featured artist. They usually start out on their own but soon they are calling me over to have me look at something they found that was interesting. I love those moments and try to make myself available to share their excitement…or disgust depending on the subject of the artwork.

This week I gave them a choice of artist’s to view. They could choose from Giotto, Donatello, or Brunelleschi. I asked them to pick one of the artists, view their works online, pick one image to print out for their notebooks, and then to copy the work or a portion of the work.

One son chose Giotto and we enjoyed scanning through various paintings and learning about Giotto’s style. After the time viewing the artwork online, my son chose a piece to view more carefully. He printed it out on our color printer and then sketched out a part of the painting for his notebook. They usually print out a 4 inch by 6 inch size so they are not using much ink at all. My son commented when he started this sketch that he was not very good at sketching people. I think he did a great job on this sketch and told him so when he finished. I think he was satisfied with his results, not excited but satisfied.

Free Homeschool & Notebooking Resources
If sketching is a little intimidating to your child, another idea that I have tried this year is to use notebooking pages from Notebookingpages.com’s free resource section on art. Here is a completed notebooking page from our study of the Limbourg Brothers. We really enjoyed looking at this painting and zooming in and looking at details on the computer screen. There is a lot going on in this painting and my son had a lot of questions about it when we finished. Does anyone know why they put the zodiac signs on the top of the painting? I haven’t had time to research the answer to that question.

I try to keep our art appreciation very open ended. I allow the boys to take an artist and give input about how they will document their thoughts and ideas. High school age students can be a challenge as far as trying to connect with them and to get them excited about school subjects. Art appreciation is something that we can offer that has no right or wrong answers. It is just enjoyable. I wish I could say the same thing about geometry. 🙂

More about the Limbourg Brothers
More about Giotto
My plans for high school art appreciation

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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