Leonardo da Vinci: Artist Study

Along with others on Ambleside Online, we are going to be viewing artwork from Leonardo da Vinci. There is a wealth of information available to supplement our viewing of Leonardo’s artwork, both online and at the library. I tried to organize these resources for our family and thought it was worth sharing with others who have an interest in spending a little more time digging deeper into a study of this fascinating man. I know that most families using Charlotte Mason’s methods enjoy picture study as their main method for art appreciation but sometimes our family likes to spend a little extra time exploring artists in other ways as well.

I used this link to print out six art prints from the Ambleside Online website. The prints are in PDF files and have titles and locations printed on the bottom of them which is very handy.
Leonardo Prints

I also found some interesting quotes over on artinthepicture.com and we will be using them in our notebooks in and around the art prints.
Leonardo Quotes for your notebook

I searched my personal bookshelves and found several resources that we have to learn a bit more about Leonardo, his artwork, and the time period he lived in. The book “Katie and the Mona Lisa” is almost a picture book but is appropriate for students ages preschool to middle school

Here are some things we have done along with this book in the past to enhance the reading. You will find illustrations in the book to get you started.

  • Read the book and then complete some art projects to go along with it.
  • Draw a princess or a knight.
  • Paint a portrait of your friend with their best Mona Lisa smile.
  • Use oil pastels on black construction paper to show a beautiful spring scene.
  • Draw a fire breathing dragon and paint it with watercolors.

We have this Dover Publications stained glass coloring book and have really enjoyed the look of the projects when we get done. I highly recommend it for artists of all ages. 🙂

Stickers are always fun to use in your note and at this price they are affordable for everyone to try.

One of my free sample plans from Harmony Fine Arts covers Leonardo da Vinci.
Harmony Fine Arts Leonardo da Vinci – Free sample

Here’s a free coloring page of the Mona Lisa from Enchanted Learning:
Coloring Page on Enchanted Learning: Mona Lisa

If you want to take a virtual museum tour, try this online gallery:
Web Gallery of Art

If you have an older student that wishes to know more about Leonardo, I highly recommend the Landmark Book Leonardo Da Vinci by Emily Hahn. All my boys have read this biographical book about Leonardo and enjoyed it. It seems to be unavailable from amazon.com but look at your library.

Another great biography for older children is Diane Stanley’s Leonardo Da Vinci. Interesting paintings illustrate this living book and hold the readers attention from page to page.

I found a project in Discovering Great Artists pages 20-21, Da Vinci Invention.

If you own Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book 2, pages 27-31 cover Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa.

If you are interested in listening to music that was popular during Leonardo’s time, you can try this CD. This CD says that it contains music from the most popular composers of Leonardo’s day. I listened to the whole CD online at naxos.com and it was interesting to think about Leonardo being surrounded by these sounds or something similar. I love to immerse myself in a time period and this is a great way to complement your study of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Wouldn’t you love to see a Leonardo da Vinci close-up and personal?
Where to see a real Leonardo:

How about a close-up look at the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum? Have you ever seen the back of the Mona Lisa?
Mona Lisa Close-Up

Well this post turned into a great big list but there are so many interesting things to do to give a more complete picture of this artist. So much to do, so little time. We are going to have a full term with Leonardo da Vinci.

Harmony Art Mom

Drawing With Children: Real Artists-The Myth

Posted in Art ideas

Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes has been a great inspiration to our family. Most people who purchase this book skip through the introductory chapter called “Before You Draw”. I think that this section of the book is the most important section of the book because it deals with the many myths that most people have about drawing. Parents need to read this section!

One myth that I especially like to share with my children is myth number 8. (page 12 in the book)

Myth: Real artists are pleased with most of what they produce.

Mona Brookes has a wonderful illustration in the book showing how to help your child work through this myth and I highly recommend you go through it with your children if you own the book. The bottom line is that most professional artists are just like the rest of us and they have some pieces of work that they are unhappy with. If children understand this idea, they will not be so quick to give up on drawing and think that they can’t learn to draw. Everyone draws things they don’t like but if you have the right thinking it will not discourage you from drawing it over again.

  • The reality is that everyone produces art they are not satisfied with and they can make changes or start over.
  • It often takes several sittings to finish a piece of artwork.
  • If a child doesn’t like their drawing, parents should not feel the need to talk the child into liking it.
  • When a child doesn’t like a drawing, help them find something they can improve on next time.

dragon A
This is a first draft of a drawing my son is working on for a project in Artistic Pursuits. It is an illustration to go along with the story of St. George and The Dragon.

If you can get your child to understand this myth, they will begin to see learning to draw as a process and hopefully they will not give up.

Harmony Art Mom

Ideas or Filling a bucket

Link to image

“When a child is very young, it doesn’t seem to make any difference what philosophical idea we had when we educated them, whether we had the notion of filling a bucket, writing on a blank slate, molding a lump of clay, or nourishing a life. But as the child grows, we’ll come to find that the only things that are assimilated into who he becomes are the ideas that fed and nourished his mind. Everything else is tossed aside, or, even worse, becomes an obstacle that can even harm him.”
Charlotte Mason vol. 6 page 108-109

This is a quote to ponder. I started reading Charlotte Mason’s writings pretty late in the homeschooling game. I have had my moments where I doubted my early choices with my first two children and homeschooling. On further reflection, I realize the validity of this quote. I always included good ideas and principles in my homeschooling. It didn’t so much matter the materials I used or the way I used them if I offered up good ideas on a regular basis.

“A child’s inner life needs ideas in the same way that his physical body needs food. He probably won’t use nine-tenths of the ideas we expose him to, just like his body only assimilates a small part of the meals he eats. He’s very eclectic–he might choose this or that. We don’t need to be concerned about what he chooses, we just need to make sure that he has a variety of things offered to him, and in abundance.” Charlotte Mason vol 6. page 109

I can do that.

Harmony Art Mom

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