Friday, September 10, 2010

Art study: Vincent van Gogh

Part of our schooling this fall includes a Charlotte Mason style approach to art. We pick an artist, and then study one of his paintings every week or two. Art study day is really exciting - we make a big deal out of it! First we sit on the couch and look at our picture (no one gets to look at it until then - it is a big secret). I encourage the boys to tell me what they see, asking questions to prompt them if they run out of ideas. After awhile, we turn the picture over and I ask them to describe it in as much detail as they can, from memory. I find it very interesting to see what sticks in their memory, as it is usually different from what sticks in mine!

And after all that, we get out our paints and copy it!

Here is what resulted today:

I found it fascinating that Jonathan was so deliberate about the night sky with stars (you can't see the details well in the picture, but there are stars in those upper middle splashes of blue) and the green tree, and the orangey-brown terrace, and the blue post on the left and the chairs and table in the bottom middle, but used very little yellow/orange. I asked him about it and he said "well, that's enough." Whereas when I look at the picture, my eye sees nothing but yellow/orange until I really pay attention.


Alisha said...

We are hoping to use the same art study approach with Noah, but our library doesn't have art prints for loan. How do you get your art prints? Do you just check out the big books?

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Alisha, I purchased my first set of prints from I linked to them in the post (click on the van gogh picture). They certainly don't have everything I'll ever want, but it is a nice place to start and they're only $5 each. I've also purchased small postcard sized pictures in books from Dover (you can find them on amazon).

Christa said...

If you sign up with Dover, they email you free random coloring pages that are really nice.