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Art Question Cards- Help With Picture Study

art cards harmony fine arts

Art appreciation that includes picture study is a simple way to let your children enjoy lots of great paintings in a non-threatening way. There are ways of making the experience low stress and enjoyable. The trick is to ask questions about the painting that have no real right or wrong answers.

  • Open ended questions
  • Questions that solicit the child’s opinion
  • Questions that allow for creative answers and imagination
  • Questions that put you and your child on the same level, learning to love art or at least slowing down to think a bit about each piece of art together

I know when I started with picture study with my own children I felt a little awkward trying to draw out their feelings and thoughts about the painting we were focusing on for the week. I learned some tricks to get the discussion going and I would love to share some ideas with you.

Harmony Fine Arts - Printable art cards


Art Cards – Questions to Get a Discussion Going

Use these printable questions to stimulate some discussion. Choose the questions randomly or allow your child to choose which card they want to use.

Suggestions For Using These Art Cards

You can print the questions out on cardstock and cut them apart. I think it would be great to laminate them so you could use them over and over again. I might store them in an envelope in the front of the child’s art binder or you could even hole punch them and put them on a ring to hang on a bulletin board or near your art display if you have one.

Another idea is to give each child a question card to use on an art museum field trip. They could use the card to study more closely a painting they find that catches their interest.

Hope you enjoy some picture study this week!

You may be interested in reading my post: Art Appreciation – A Starting Point.


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Weekly Wrap-Up: Final of 2012!

We had our homeschool art show over the weekend and it was a super-duper success! The students all were very proud to share their artwork with friends and relatives. I think there were around thirty people who attended so that was a great turnout on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. I had fun making the displays with some of the other moms and it really was a great way to showcase all of the projects the kids had worked so hard in completing over the term.

Modigliani Portraits and Paul Klee Chalk Pastels

Scribble Art (Art Lab for Kids) and M.C.Escher Tessellations

The second large display held the Joan Miro projects which they did with markers and used the dice game that we found on Pinterest. If I were doing this project with another group, I would make sure have them fill in their pages more and complete a background.

Art Show Creative Food

We had an awesome afternoon sharing our artwork and eating wonderful food. One of the moms was very artistic and made these deviled eggs that created an artist’s palette and she stenciled some cave art on top of the cheesecake. Thanks Willow!

The other highlight of the past week or so was a lunch date with all three of my men. Mr. D had the day off from work and he drove up to take me to lunch. The other two boys wanted to go too so we made it a quick lunch so Mr. A could get to work on time. What a treat!

Now we have hit mid-year I am feeling the press to fit a lot of little things into Mr. B’s last few months before graduation. He has taken on another volunteer position which will start in a few months so he is hoping he can accelerate some of his academic work to allow more time for that. I am going to sit with my planner and his schedule and see what will work. He has signed up for another class at the community college this semester but that is only two mornings a week and now that he drives it is really not a big deal to drive himself the five miles each way to his class.

Getting close but still savoring the moments.

HFA Special Offer

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Calder Art – Finny Fish Sculpture Project

During this last year of high school,  my aim with Mr. B has been to offer him lots of different media to work with as part of his art credit and not just the same old paints and markers. As part of our study of Alexander Calder, we are working with wire to make a sculpture much like you see in this piece called, Finny Fish (National Gallery of Art).

Source: via Barb on Pinterest


I love the free-form nature of Calder’s work, the movement of the pieces, and the colorful interpretation of the fish with its sparkling stones and other bits.

Source: via Barb on Pinterest


Calder considered his artwork to be “four dimensional drawings” which really describes the way his pieces move in the air and seem to be full of life. After viewing several pieces online, we got started.

I purchased two kinds of wire for the project:

Aluminum Sculpture Wire – 14 Gauge

Aluminum Wire – 18 Gauge


Mr. B used the idea we found online to sketch the basic shape of the fish on a piece of paper to use as a sort of template. This worked well and he had no trouble using the wire to make the outline of his fish.

Then he was ready to embellish it with some bits and pieces we had on our craft shelf. I pulled them all out and he just experimented until he found things that worked. We decided that the fish needed a stand of some sort and Mr. B created one that would allow me to set the sculpture on a shelf in our family room.

Here is what I took away from this project: Tinkering with the wire, shapes, and other bits was relaxing and very right brained. Also, it was a project that came alive as you worked on it…the wire and embellishments created problems which needed solving and in the end the piece just sort of came into being.


I love that.


Important Links:

Calder Wire Portraits

Calder Wire Sculpture – Fish

Nice Article about Calder’s Finny Fish

This entry was submitted to the Homeschool Showcase!

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