Friday, November 16, 2012

Picture Study

Picture study is one of the most constant things in our homeschool. We have done it the same way for quite a few years and I have never considered changing it. I forget where exactly I got the idea to do it this way-probably from a number of different places- but it's been a real hit with the kids and everyone is excited to do it-which is always nice, right?

Everyone has a photo album that holds 4 x 6 pictures. The older kids have albums with space on the side for writing details. We study one artist every six weeks or so. We move on when we have studied six of his prints. We usually use Discovering Great Artists to choose an artist. The kids take turns picking who we will study.

When picture study comes up on our schedule, one of the kids chooses a painting for us to study. I do a google search on the artist's name to find a website that has images of the paintings. Artchive is usually useful for this. After they have chosen a picture I save the image and print it out on 4 x 6 photo paper. The kids write the title and artist in their albums and add the picture. Everyone spends a few minutes looking at the picture. Then they close their albums and I look at the picture while they take turns telling me something they remember about it, youngest first. They usually come up with some pretty great observations! We might discuss a little bit about the artist and compare it to his other work.

Then we're done.

The following week, the next child will choose the painting. Four kids = four paintings. I choose the fifth. For the sixth everyone gets to choose their own and tell everyone about it.

Then we move on to the next artist!


  1. What a nice, simple way to approach picture studies! I think I will have to hook up the color printer and give this a go.

  2. I love this idea. My daughter is only 7 yo, but she loves studying art. I will be sharing this idea with her. Thank you.

  3. Great gentle idea.. and they will love looking at them when they're 40 still!

  4. Hi Kim, thanks for your blog! I was wondering whether you do the art ideas that come with each artist or painting in the book you mentioned? Or do you just use Art Lab for that?

  5. I do try to do the project(s) for each artist, but I don't always succeed at remembering or fitting it in. It is definitely my goal to do this more consistently. There are usually only 1 or 2 projects per artist, so we only do a project from DGA every other month or so. The rest of the time, our projects come from the Art Lab book. Thanks so much for visiting!


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