August 24, 2013

Art Lesson

There are three parts to our art lesson this year. Art skills, Art history, and Art Appreciation. Our Artist Study this year is centered around just one artist Giotto Di Bondone. We will be at times looking at some of the other famous artist of the Medieval times like Cimbaque Giotto's teacher,  but mostly we will be studying Giotto. I spent a entire term at University doing an art history course on Giotto's Chapel in Scrovegni and I am excited to share this wonderful artist with my boys. So we will be reading about Giotto and the world he lived in and looking at his many many paintings and sculptures. We will also be improving our won art skill once a week by learning more about painting with tempera paints and water colors.

Art skills is something I believe every child can develop. Like any other skill some take to it more readily than others but all can learn to mix paint, hold a brush and draw what they see. All can make art. Each week we have been doing a painting lesson out of the wonderful text by Barry Stebbing called I Can Do All Things. This is our study in mixing different blues and using them in the dolphin drawing.

And heres a close up our mixing greens picture with the grasshopper.

and here is TJ's study of mixing red.

I am using a large picture book entitled Masters of art: Giotto and Medieval Art as my spine for the year in our Art History lesson and adding to it Giotto Tended the Sheep by Opal Wheeler for our back ground info about the artist. Sister Wendy also does a wonderful you tube introducing Giotto in her series called The Story of Painting. (part 2 "The hero steps forth is about Giotto) and Madeline L'Engle has put together a beautiful book entitled The Glorious Impossible but we will use this book more in our art appreciation lessons than here in the art history lesson.

Our Art Appreciation lessons are mostly picture studies, but sometimes we will do a hands on project to help us further understand the art in Giotto's time and how he made his art on frescoes and with egg tempera paint etc. I am using Simply Charlotte Masons Picture Study Portfolio and Madeline L'Engle's book The Glorious Impossible, and there is a wonderful collection of Giotto's work online here that allows you to see the paintings as a slide show.


  1. Why thank you for sharing! I am starting out with homeschooling my preschool boys! This is very helpful.

    1. Yeah! Have fun! Drop me a note if you have any questions. Boys can be a full on blast and a real challenge.

  2. Thanks! I already do. I notice you are studying one artist at a time for an entire year. What curriculum are you using?

  3. it is unique that we only study one artist in a year, and that is because I am trying to use artists that fit into the historical period we are studying. The Medieval times has lots of art in general but few artists who stand out and who have materials you can use for a artist study as we like to do them, like Giotto does. The resources for Giotto were plentiful and I thought it would be nice to be simpler this year and stick with just one artist as there is a lot of new ideas for the boys to grasp about how art was done and how the time period the artist lived in drove the art of many of the artists. Last year we did several modern artist and the year before several Impressionist artists.

    I don't have a curriculum but have amassed many resources that I have planned out to fit into our year. I use the Simply Charlotte Mason planner approach which is very helpful for making your own plans with your own materials. I highly recommend it. I use it for all of my subjects.