What is a Picture Study
A picture study is simply art appreciation. It is a beautiful way to introduce your child to great works of art. It will not take up a significant amount of time and it is easy to implement.
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Picture Study the Charlotte Mason Way
Let’s look at what Charlotte Mason said about how to conduct a picture study in Home Education:
They should take one artist after another, term by term, and study quietly some half-dozen reproductions of his work in the course of a term…The children should study a subject quietly for a few minutes; and then, the picture being removed, say what they have seen in it…. Something definite [of the content of the picture] remains with a child after his studies, but this is the least of the gains.
Now, let’s apply this to your homeschool in a practical way.
Week 1: Artist Introduction
During your first week, you will introduce your child to the artist you picked. You may want to consider picking an artist from the time period you are studying in history. Tell your child about the artist’s background and history. Once you are finished, have your child narrate the artist’s background. The introduction and narration need not last more than 15 minutes.
Week 2: First Picture
Before you show your child the picture, ask him to narrate what he learned the week before about the artist’s background. Then introduce the image by telling your child the title and allowing him to look at the picture silently for 3 to 5 minutes. Instruct your child to pay attention to every detail. After the child has time to study the picture, take the picture away and ask the child to narrate the picture. The final step is to show the picture gain and have a talk about the picture. Ask your child several questions to get the discussion started.
Questions to Ask
What would you call this picture?
Do you like it?
How do you feel about it?
What color or colors dominate the picture?
What time of day is it?
Add in questions that specifically pertain to the picture.
Display the picture in your home until the next week, when you chose another picture by the same artist. Go over the same process until you completed at least six pictures by the same artist. Exposing your child to six pictures will give the child sense of the artist’s style. Finally, keep in mind that lesson is intended to be no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
As you can see fitting in a picture study is easy and will fit in with any curriculum or homeschool method you employ.
Our Favorite Picture Study Resources
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of ArtGreat Artists: Raphael, Murillo, Rubens, DurerKnights of Art Stories of the Italian PaintersSix Van Gogh CardsSix Frida Kahlo CardsSix Kandinsky CardsPicasso Paintings CardsSix Degas Ballet Dancers CardsWinslow Homer Paintings
Free Picture Study Notebooking Page Printable
Be sure to tag your Instagram posts with #everydaygraces so we can see what artist you are studying!
Get your free printable Picture Study notebooking pages! Just add them to your cart and complete checkout.
Gina @ Oaxacaborn says
I teach art history to first graders in our homeschool co-op, and it is truly remarkable how powerful our few moments of picture study are at the beginning of the session! They just soak up SO much, and see so much, and are able to narrate back the subtlest hint of emotion. I’m always amazed at their commentary after something so simple as picture study.
Kids are definitely more observant than we give them red for! What a fun class to teach ?