Discovering Great Artists

Discovering Great Artists Review @harmonyfinearts

Here is a review of a book that I have been using for quite some time now.

Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga can be seen around the homeschooling world quite a bit and I know a lot of different programs recommend it for a study of great artists. Here’s some pros and cons:

Things I Like About Discovering Great Artists

* The chart in the front shows the artist’s name, style, dates of lifetime, list of corresponding activities, and the level of difficulty
*Most activities give an example of a finished product
*Most materials we have on hand
*I love chapter 5 with examples of games and activities (Masters Scrapbook page 111 is a fabulous idea)

Things I Don’t Like About Discovering Great Artists
*I would have liked a list for each artist giving their major works so we could easily look them up. (See note below for a suggestion.)
*I wish the prints included in the book were in color for the children to look at and study

This book could easily be the basis for a whole year’s worth of art projects. They recommend the book for ages 4-12 but I would recommend it for ages 8-14. The art activities and the projects listed in the back will keep you busy.

Update: I just did a quick search of the Bright Ideas For Learning website (publishers of the book) and they now have a page that links to each of the artist’s work! Click the link above to check it out! They also have art activity cards that you can print out from their website. These cards can be printed in color and they include an artist’s print, short biography of the artist, and an additional art activity.

This book would be a great inexpensive choice for starting out on your journey to get to know artists while having some fun activities to try.

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Henri Matisse

Matisse Artist Study @harmonyfinearts


These are two great resources for you to look for at your library. We have enjoyed looking at Henri Matisse’s artwork online and we also used the Dover Coloring Book Color Your Own Matisse

Click here to see more of his work online. Please beware that there are nudes among his works so you will need to preview any that you want to share with your children.
Here is a short biography of Henri Matisse

We are using this activity to follow up our picture study of Henri Matisse.
Lesson plan for Goldfish activity

Later in Matisse’s life he turned to collage to express himself.
Here is a link to The Snail

This would be fun to duplicate with paper and glue.

Hope you enjoy your look at Henri Matisse. I will post our projects later in the week.

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Tchaikovsky for Elementary Age Students

Tchaikovsky Composer Study @harmonyfinearts

First of all, I am pleased to say that I can now spell “Tchaikovsky” without needing to check the spelling!

My boys have enjoyed Tchaikovsky’s music and are now able to pick it out when I play it at odd times around the house or in the car. There is something about the “big” sound of a Tchaikovsky piece that draws you into it.

You also may like listening to these podcasts on Classics for Kids: Tchaikovsky.

I highly recommend the Classical Kid’s Tchaikovsky Discovers America CD for elementary age students. I would suggest that you check your library before purchasing the CD since it is a bit expensive for something you will only use a few times. I have provided a link to below for you check it out.

I also like the Story of Tchaikovsky CD which includes a short biography with excerpts of his music as well as some full versions at the end. I have provided the link to this below also. This series of CDs is very reasonably priced and they are better for middle school students.

Here are links to some of Tchaikovsky’s music to try out:
Swan Lake
Sleeping Beauty
You can click on the above links and then listen to some excerpts online.

Hope you enjoy Tchaikovsky as much as we did!

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