Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason – Review and Giveaway

Picture Study Porfolios button

It is always a thrill to come across a product that is so perfect for your style of learning! The Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason are just such a product for our family. Oh how I wish they were available a decade ago when we started picture study in the Charlotte Mason style of art appreciation!

Along with our personal family interest in art appreciation, I realized that these prints are a perfect supplement to my Harmony Fine Arts art curriculum plans. Each of the artists that are available from Simply Charlotte Mason are featured in a year plan of Harmony Fine Arts!

This review will feature one of the Picture Study Portfolios and then I will show how to use this product alongside my Harmony Fine Arts plans.

First the details of the product:

  • 1. I received the printed version for this review and I am very impressed with the quality of both the paper and the color printing of each piece of artwork. Each of the prints is on 8 1/2″ by 11″ coated cardstock (glossy). They are sturdy and I can foresee using these with all ages of children with no worry of damaging the prints while handling them. The size makes them easy to display for a family to view and I even framed one for my schoolroom wall. The prints are not titled but the detailed information is found in the accompanying Picture Study Handbook (year, size, media, and current location). I think it is worth the few extra dollars to receive the printed version rather than the electronic download.

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  • 2. The Picture Study Portfolio comes with a Picture Study Handbook that includes a wealth of information about picture study in general and with specific information about the artist and each art print included in the set. The biography is written in a narrative style that fits a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family’s desire to use a living books approach to art appreciation.
  • 3. Each set comes in a sturdy storage envelope for building a reference library of fine art.

Who Needs This Product:

    • 1. Families that are hoping to get started with picture study in the Charlotte Mason style are going to find the introductory pages in the Handbook a valuable and practical source of instruction. The author has outlined what picture study is and then there are five steps outlined to get you going. We have been doing picture study for a long time in our family and I even found this section to be helpful with fresh ideas.
    • 2. Experienced Charlotte Mason homeschoolers are going to love having everything at their fingertips. The prints are selected and printed, the biography is gathered, and each print is lovingly shared with some ideas for narration. It is going to make your life so much easier!

Picture Study Porfolios (1)

Now some ideas for using this product alongside 
Harmony Fine Arts:

  • 1. In the Harmony Fine Arts plans, Option 1 is always picture study. The plans suggest 4-6 pieces of artwork for each artist studied. There is a link provided to view the artwork online and then instructions for making the artwork your computer’s wallpaper or for printing your own copy of the painting. Now, with the Picture Study Portfolios, families can supplement that viewing with the selections available from Simply Charlotte Mason.
  • 2. The art prints available in the Picture Study Portfolios do not exactly match the suggested prints in Option 1 of Harmony Fine Arts. As you work through the plans for each artist in Harmony Fine Arts, you can easily supplement or substitute any paintings that you want. The Portfolio prints can be used in any order and the Harmony Fine Arts plans are flexible enough to adapt to any painting you have a desire to study.
  • 3. These portfolios are by no means a required addition to Harmony Fine Arts but they would give your picture study more depth and be a convenient alternative to viewing the artwork online or printing the artwork yourself. You could determine your budget from year to year and use as many of the portfolios as you desire. They are completely optional.
Current Picture Study Portfolios Available 
and their Harmony Fine Arts Year

Picture Study Porfolios (2)

Suggested Ideas for Using Picture Study Portfolios 
With Harmony Fine Arts Illustrated
Harmony Fine Arts Grade 6 plans for Durer (Weeks 29-32) with supplemental viewing of the Durer set from Simply Charlotte Mason. You can read a complete review of this level of Harmony Fine Arts on The Curriculum Choice.

Option 1: Picture Study –

  • Use the prints to view the Durer artwork, read the living biography, and details about each particular print.
  • Use the information in the booklet to complete entries in your art notebook.
  • NOTE: The four suggested paintings in Option 1 for Durer are all included in the Picture Study Portfolio from Simply Charlotte Mason.

Option 2 (Draw Squad and Supplemental Art Books) –

  • Apply the lessons in shadows, contour, and foreshortening to sketch the artwork with pencil for your art notebook. Also, use Adoration of the Magi to see how Durer made a wall of cubes in the background.
  • View Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and The Rhinoceros to notice how Durer used lines for texture and movement and as examples of woodcuts in Week 30.
  • View the Self-Portrait as part of your Week 31 study of the various Durer self-portraits.

Option 3 (Artistic Pursuits) –

  • Use the Self-Portrait and Christ Among the Doctors prints to observe how Durer drew a face.
  • Use the Adoration of the Magi to talk about how Durer used his imagination to create this painting.

Now for a special giveaway!

Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason has generously offered to provide three Picture Study Portfolios as a giveaway! I will be randomly choosing three winners from the entries – each winner will get their choice of one Picture Study Portfolio! You will find all the details below in the Rafflecopter gadget. (You may need to click over to the blog to view Rafflecopter.)

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