December 6, 2010

A look at Edgar Degas

"Jockeys" by Edgar Degas
We are looking at the Impressionists this year, Edgar Degas is our first artist to study from this period. I have always enjoyed his sketchy work and his rich colors....what was new for me to discover is that he did quite a few paintings of the horse races as well as dancers and cabaras. My boys liked these pictures of the horses and jockeys the best of all his work...not surprising they were not too intersted in dancers. Max did however like many of the paintings of circus performers.

I found this artist bio notebooking page at homeschooling with index cards in her FREE notebooking forms section. It is a great way to begin documenting our discoveries of a new artist. The small works of art are Dover art stickers. Just the right size to fit in the box...that is except for the paintings which are in landscape view. The black and white picture of Degas I found on the internet and printed, cut out, and glued to the sheet.

We learned about Edward Degas via these picture books:
Degas and The Little Dancer by Laurence Anholt
Edgar Degas Paintings that Dance (a smart about art book) by Maryann Cocoa-Leffler 
The Impressionist Art Book by Wenda O'Reilly
the Art Book is accompanied by a go fish card game introducing the impressionist artists. Since there are four prints for each artist you can play game like rummy, or concentration as well. The Art book and the cards are sold together under the name of The Impressionists Art Game. We played the go fish game alot!

There were four pictures in The Impressionists Art Book that we used for picture study. The book told us about how the paintings were painted and more about why Degas painted in certain ways. It was short and easy for a 5 year old and a 7 year old to understand and attend to, without getting boring. But at the same time it gave us good insights into the works of art Degas produced and how he went about producing them.
With some of our pictures from old calendars and art museum pamplets we put the pictures we were doing a picture study into this picture study form.

We also colored a few pictures from The Impressionist Coloring book. This is T.J's rendition of "Jockey's in the Rain."
Some helpful websites for further discovery:


  1. We love Degas. What a rich study you assembled.

  2. Love this post! Especially TJ's rendition of the jockey. I have Degas' ballerina painting as my desktop of my favorites.

  3. lol that is kl

  4. hi, this is good, love how you put everything together. some really clever stuff