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Annotated Mona Lisa – Book Review and Tips to Using

High school art appreciation can be a fantastic way to balance out the more academic courses required of our students. During my children’s high school years, we used The Annotated Mona Lisa as the spine resource for our art appreciation plans. This book is a nuts and bolts book that will take you through the entire course of art history with no frills. It’s the perfect jumping off spot if your teen gets interested in a certain aspect of art. I like that this book includes various topics other than just painting like sculpture, photography, video, and architecture.

annotated-lisa

How did we make the most of this book?

  1. We would read 2-5 pages a week according to the Harmony Fine Arts plans.
  2. The boys would take notes, make a sketch, or research something of interest according to the topic in the book.Annotated Mona Lisa and Harmony Fine Arts

Taking this slow approach, it would take four years to get through the book. It is possible to read through the book more quickly, but we preferred to take our time and really appreciate the material. Of course, we used other resources and did other activities to round out our study.

Harmony fine ARts notebook pages (1)

If you’re interested in learning more about the other parts of our art appreciation plan, see the information and link below.

High School Art – How To With Harmony Fine Arts

If you have to pick one easy to read resource, I would pick The Annotated Mona Lisa. Please note the link above is an affiliate link to Amazon to the book that I own, have used many times, and purchased myself.

Art copywork using great artists paintingHere’s a link to an entry I wrote that explains just how we completed art appreciation in our family during the high school years using Harmony Fine Arts: Homeschool Art Appreciation.

Harmony Fine Arts Purchase Now button

 

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci – Artist Study

leonardo-da-vinci-artist-study

I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite artist studies and combing through my archives. I decided to update a few of my more popular entries. I hope you find some fun ideas for studying Leonardo da Vinci using the resources and links provided.

Getting Started with a Picture Book-Katie and the Mona Lisa


Please note this entry has Amazon.com affiliate links to books I own and highly recommend.

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

  • 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.

Create More Interest with a Fun Art Activity

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. 🙂

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

 

Have a Little Picture Study Time

Last supper

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

 

Older Students Can Read an Excellent Biography

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.

Tie In Some Music Appreciation

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.

Visit a Leonardo Painting In Real Life!

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?
Mona Lisa Close-Up

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 2

Harmony Fine Arts Cover grade 6

 

Harmony Fine Arts – Leonardo Artist Studies

You can find Leonardo da Vinci featured in both Grade 2 and Grade 6 of Harmony Fine Arts.

If you want to go more in-depth and have even more outstanding suggestions for learning about this important person in art, I invite you to give either Harmony Fine Arts grade 2 or 6 a try.

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Remembering Our Visit to the MET in NYC

Remembering Our Visit to the MET in NYC

Gauguin at the MET

A few weeks ago, my grown up daughter Amanda who lives in New York, made a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She had visitors from California who wanted her to play tour guide and the MET was on their list of places to visit. The visitors paid for an official tour but Amanda wanted to browse the museum all on her own.  She enjoyed three glorious hours wandering by herself through the galleries. Afterwards, she sent me some images and her comments reminded me of my visit to the MET a few years ago with my boys.

She felt that many of the paintings were her “old friends” since we had studied them in the past as part of our art appreciation. She actually felt a connection with several of the paintings and marveled as I did that seeing paintings in person had such an emotional impact on her.

MET in NYC

I shared our experiences at the MET in this entry: Metropolitan Museum of Art – Harmony Art Mom’s Visit.

Here’s what I wrote in that entry about seeing a particular painting by Renoir:

“Renoir’s brushes painted this painting. He stood right where I was standing to create this artwork, capturing a moment in time for me to enjoy over a hundred years later. How awesome is that?”

I invite you to click over and read the entire entry…so many great thoughts to encourage you to visit the MET.

Art appreciation is something our family has enjoyed for many years together. It has created a bond and mutual respect and awe for many artists and styles of art. We didn’t do anything extraordinary to make this happen; just by taking a few minutes on a regular basis to view a piece of artwork, we were able to grow a love of great art.

Favorite Klimt

My daughter sent me a postcard from the MET of one of my favorite paintings…which just happened to be her favorite of the day. Here is a bit of what she wrote on the postcard:

“I bought this postcard to send to you before we talked and you said it was your favorite Klimt….I kept wishing all day you were here with me. Thank you for teaching me about the great artists. I love that I can recognize different painters’ styles from across the gallery.”

tips-for-a-visit-to-an-art-museum

You may also be interested in reading this entry:

Tips for a Family Visit to the Art Museum

Harmony Fine Arts What is in each plan

I would love for you to consider using Harmony Fine Arts plans in your family to create a love of great art and music. The plans are flexible and can be used by multiple ages all together in a matter of minutes per week. Each grade gives you specific artists and composers to study by giving you links and resources in a simple format. You really can just open the plans, click, and view/listen. You can download sample weeks and see the plans in action by visiting the Harmony Fine Arts store and clicking the particular grade you are interested in using. Make sure to click the “more information” link found on each product link for more details about each year plan.

Harmony Fine Arts Grades 1 thru 8 Button

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