Harmony Fine Arts – Picture Study Tips

Picture Study Tips from Harmony Fine Arts

This summer I had the pleasure of sharing some time with two little boys, ages 6 and 4. They have never done any kind of formal picture study so it gave me a chance to rewind and start from the beginning as we did a little art each week.

I printed out my Art Cards- Questions to Get a Discussion Going printable (see link below) to guide me through a little bit of discussion prior to our actual art project.

Picasso portraits picture study

Step one: This is easy using the questions on the printable. I let them look at the art print from Pablo Picasso and as they looked for a few minutes, I gently guided them through three of the open-ended questions that really have no right or wrong answers.

Here are some of the responses to show you just how it can go for you in your family.

  1. What kind of lines can you see? crooked, pointy, straight, criss-cross.
  2. If money were no object, would you buy this painting for your home? No. Do you think your mom or dad would like it? Mommy would but Daddy wouldn’t.
  3. Is this a painting of something real or imaginary? Not a real person because the colors are crazy.
  4. I also added this question that is not on the printable- How do you think the person is feeling? One said happy and the other said sad which I find very interesting. I asked them what clues helped them come up with their answer and they said things like the shape of the lips, the eyes, and the colors.

How to do Picture study project

After this short discussion, I left the painting on the table and as we were working on our Picasso art project (a Sketch Tuesday assignment) they kept talking about the art print. I noticed the way they included elements of the painting in their own paintings.

I also left the art print on the shelf for future visits and I noticed them looking at it all on their own a couple of times.

Really, this is the foundation of conducting a picture study. No pressure and no fuss.

Harmony Fine Arts - Printable art cards


  • I print my art prints out using a color printer and photo paper. They seem to be durable enough for little hands to hold and study.
  • Print out the Art Cards printable and slip it into a sheet protector and put it in the front of your planning binder.
  • Don’t worry if you spend all of your time on one question and let the child’s attention span dictate how many questions you use in each picture study session.
  • Share a variety of artists as you work through your year. Sometimes you can pull two art prints from different artists and do a comparison as part of you picture study.
  • There are going to be paintings your child doesn’t like so allow them to voice their opinion and perhaps revisit the art print another year, tastes change.
  • Picture study is something you and your children will get better at as you work through the year.
  • Above all, have fun!

Other Picture Study Printables and Ideas For You

Impressionist Painting Scavenger Hunt – This is summer easy and fun for all ages…even teens.

Picture Study Tips – Using a Viewfinder – Here is a simple idea for you to use with all ages.

Building on Picture Study – Here are some ideas for you to glean from.

How to Talk to Children About Art – My review of this excellent book for parents that want more help and guidance with art appreciation.



Picture Study is included in every

Harmony Fine Arts grade level plans as Option 1.

Option 1 of Harmony Fine Arts outlines the study for each artist by painting or art object. Links are provided for you to view each piece of artwork with your child and then follow up with a little discussion using the tips above.

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 1 Collage Button

See a sample plan for Grade 1 and give picture study a try in your family.

All samples are listed under the “Sample Pages” tab at the top of the website.


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