So What Do We Do After Picture Study? Part One

The last few weeks have been filled with thinking about art…art appreciation with picture study, art appreciation with artist study, art skills, art projects, art supplies, art FUN. Now it is time to think about making plans for my sons.

This is a glorious time for my brain and my heart. I am loving the process of really drilling down through all the options to make my boys’ last few years of official homeschooling filled with art they will love. You would think that with all of the art plans floating around my computer’s hard drive that I would have one plan that would fill the need, but after looking seriously into what I have left planned for high school I couldn’t find anything that was “just right”.

This means I get to pull some fresh ideas from my shelves and from my bookmarks for both Mr. A and Mr. B who seem to be heading in different directions as far as art interests. Mr. A doesn’t have as much time in his daily schedule next year (12th grade) for going too deeply into art courses, but he still assures me that he wants to have some art plans available to make use of time he can carve out of his busy day. Mr. B is going to be saturated in art-related topics next year (11th grade) since he seems to have a leaning towards the creative.

As I normally do when I am planning art, I spend lots of time preparing my heart, thinking about ways to make our home more creative, finding ways to build on what we have already done, and then discussing with each of the boys their thoughts. Here is what they expressed to me during our talks:

  • They enjoy picture study and really getting to know an artist.
  • They like getting to pick an artist to study on their own and also picking their own artwork to view.
  • They still think that keeping a notebook with prints and their own short artist’s biographies is a meaningful activity.
  • One son wants to focus on follow-up of picture study with art copywork at his own pace and with his own choice of art media.
  • One son wants to branch out and after a short picture study to then have some projects lined up to go deeper into the artist’s style or his media

So what do you do after picture study? This activity has been the backbone of our art appreciation plans for many, many years. If picture study was all we had ever done in our family, we would have developed a love for great artwork. But now looking back, I can see how building on picture study has enriched the experience in many ways.

I am going to share with you my original art goals that I wrote about eight years ago.

Art Appreciation goals:

  • 1. Be familiar with and able to identify at least 30 major works of art by the end of high school. (artist’s name, title of the painting, and the time period) This would be approx. 4 pieces per year between 4th and 12th grades.
  • 2. Be able to view a painting and discuss the elements of the painting.
  • 3. Be familiar with the major periods of art in order to place a piece chronologically on a timeline.

I look at the humble beginnings of our art appreciation study and it makes me feel really good inside knowing that we have achieved and surpassed my original goals. This whole process started off simply and has grown from those little seeds planted with picture study. For more information on how to include picture study with your children, you may be interested in reading this blog entry: Art Appreciation Starting Point.

I have a second part to this post that I will put up on Wednesday for you to read. In that post I will share how we have built on the foundation of picture study over the years so you can glean some ideas for your children.


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