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Artist Study of the Month
Since Michelangelo’s birthday is coming up on March 6th, we’re gearing up to focus on him again during this month’s artist study. We studied his work once before (several years ago) as part of a mini-unit about Renaissance artists. Our favorite activity then was a reenactment of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. That’s an easy activity:
- Tape some paper to the bottom of a table that you don’t mind getting paint on.
- Make a cozy spot under the table to lay.
- Grab some paints.
- Paint a picture on the paper while laying down.
Michelangelo Biography and Research Essay
This time around, we’ll be focusing more on Michelangelo’s biography by researching several of the sites mentioned on Social Studies for Kids. We’ll read through some of the articles together and I’ll assign a few to be read independently. By the end of the month, I’ll expect a one-page essay about Michelangelo. (Now that my big kids are older, writing follows almost everything – or so my sweet children tell me.)
Of course, we’ll read this classic from our artist bookshelf, too.
Rather than choose the weekly picture studies for my children, this time I will allow them to decide what we study. Olga’s Gallery is always a great place to go to find a large variety of artwork by almost any artist.
Need to know how to do picture study? You might like to check out Artist Study: Charlotte Mason Style.
- Week One: We’ll again try a simulation of the painting of the Sistine Chapel. I’m so excited to compare this year’s finished products to the artwork created five or six years ago.
- Week Two: We’ll do a version of this Project Articulate lesson, focusing on shading.
- Week Three: We’ll take soap carvings to a new level as we try to recreate one of Michelangelo’s sculptures.
- Week Four: We’ll tackle a clay sculpting project.
And that’s it. A little reading, a little writing, a little picture study and a weekly art lesson. Fun and educational!
This post has been linked to iHomeschoolNetwork’s Birthday Lessons series!
Grandma Moses, more formally known as Anna Mary Robertson Moses, was a folk artist of the early 1900′s who didn’t begin painting until her late 70′s. Many of her paintings shared the story of her life – scenes from the landscape around her.
We have never studied a folk artist before, so we were excited to jump into “new territory” in theme and art techniques!
Before we study an artist’s work, we try to learn at least a bit about the artist’s life and motivations. We always enjoy the Mike Venezia books!
Because Grandma Moses only died in 1961, all of her artwork and images of her art are copyrighted – meaning I cannot post any images of the paintings we studied here on my blog. I will link to the specific pieces we studied, though!
Since I wanted to focus on the technique of perspective, we used the following four examples to study:
Using the directions found at Deep Space Sparkle, I introduced the concept of drawing perspective with the “X” method. Watercolors and permanent markers finished off the pictures. The finished products are fabulous! And the technique is really very easy to teach!
Grandmas Moses Style Perspective
Another lesson on perspective was inspired by one of Kathy’s projects from Art Projects for Kids. We replaced her Mexican structures with those more similar to the country buildings of Grandma Moses’ time. I just love how much these lessons helped my children draw appropriate perspective better!
Be sure to check out more Our Journey Westward Artist Studies!
You might also like my Artist Study Pinterest Board and my Arts and Crafts Pinterest Board.
This post has been linked to the iHomeschool Network’s September Birthdays Link-up
and the Charlotte Mason Carnival
Gauguin was an interesting character! I can’t claim that he’s my favorite artist, but we still enjoyed our time spent with him this month.
Below are the resources that have been in the sidebar. We won’t be doing artist or composer study in December. I’ll have resources in the sidebar again in January!
Pet Still Life
Various Worksheets and a Bio
Books We’ll Read
We have LOVED our time spent with Rousseau!
Henri Rousseau Artist Study Resources
Landscape with Cattle
View of Bridge Sevres
The Football Players
Monkeys in a Jungle
Princeton Online – Several Ideas
KinderArt – Fantasy Jungle
Lesson Plan Page – Stained Glass
Books We Read
I am loving Henri Rousseau’s style. It’s somewhat of a folk style with lots of bright colors. Combine that with whimsical scenes and it makes me smile. So many of the artists we’ve studied have been too serious for me, but the lighter side of Rousseau has revived my artist’s eye!
Rousseau spent many days studying, sketching and painting exotic plants while visiting huge greenhouses that housed plants and trees from all over the world. These plants inspired him to paint jungle scenes. In most of his jungle scenes, you’ll find animals or people hiding in the midst of the plants. Rousseau would get his inspiration and models for many of those additions as he looked at photographs from magazines. To look at his paintings, you’d think he spent a lot of time in jungles, but not so!
Fight Between a Tiger and a Lion
Two Monkeys in a Jungle
Here are Mahayla and Caleb’s attempts at a Rousseau jungle painting…
We actually tried to pick leaves that looked jungle-like and roll over them with painted brayers to make prints, but it didn’t work very well. Instead, the kiddos just decided to paint with brushes.