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Art was not something I was exposed to in my childhood.  I wasn't raised around art lovers o...

The Ultimate Guide to Artist Studies

4/20/2015 Michelle Cannon 8 Comments

A comprehensive guide to artist study resources, lesson plans, printables and more.

Art was not something I was exposed to in my childhood. I wasn't raised around art lovers or artists. 

Yet, I've produced several children with these natural talents (thank their dads for that gift). As a result, I learned to incorporate art not only into our studies but into our lives as well.


I believe we are all born with a natural appreciation for art. It's why little kids are so fascinated by all the handiworks of God, from flowers to bees. They see the artwork and love it. Give them a crayon and they'll draw on anything. Literally.

All children are artists. Whether they continue to be artists is up to us. 

  • Do we provide the proper environment to grow an artist?
  • Do we give them the tools they need to create art?
  • Do we praise and support their artistic interests?



How long should you study an artist?

I believe it's up to you to decide how long you'll study an individual artist. I've seen it done many ways.
  • An artist each month
  • One artist for 12 weeks (Charlotte Mason style)
  • An artist every two weeks.
I do it Charlotte Mason style. I choose an artist (usually it relates to the time period we're studying in history, but not always) and then I choose three pieces of work by that artist.

How to Conduct Artist Studies

Since I use the Charlotte Mason method our studies are actually two parts: The artist study and the picture study.

The Artist Study

We read living books about the artist. We visit websites. We go to museums. There are many activities you can do truly get to know the artist.

The Picture Study

With the three pieces of art we've chosen, I simply have the children study each piece of work for 5 minutes, then I take it away. At this point, they can narrate what they saw in the painting. They may talk about colors, feelings, brush strokes - whatever they happened to take notice of. We do that twice each week.

In addition to those basics, we may try to copy the piece of art ourselves, painting Starry Starry Night, or drawing it. Or doing some other fun hands-on activity that really draws their attention to the artwork itself. 


Of course, this is just one way and a few ideas. Hopefully this comprehensive guide to artist studies will give you plenty of inspiration and ideas to take with you on your homeschool journey.


The Ultimate Guide to Artist Studies


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How to Conduct Artist Studies


Art Lessons and Unit Studies

Harmony Fine Arts (curriculum)
Audubon Artist Study
Index of Artist Study Lessons
Art Lessons by Artist
How I Teach Grant Wood to My Homeschool Co-op

Art Unit for Claude Monet
Paint Like Seurat
Geometric Style Like Mondrian for Kids
Make Waves Like Hokusai Tutorial
Create Color Like O’Keeffe: A Georgia O’Keeffe

Scissor Style Like Henri Matisse Art Lesson
Paint like van Gogh
Mary Cassatt Hats- A Color Harmonies Lesson
Dance With Degas: How to Draw a Ballerina
Folk Art Lessons from Grandma Moses

Tornado Art Tutorial: Wizard of Oz Activity #2
Henri Rousseau for Kids: Rousseau Jungle Scenes
Tell a Story Like Rockwell: A Norman Rockwell Art Lesson
Invent Like Da Vinci: An Inkblot Art Lesson for the Inventive Child
Independent Art Project: Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky Notebooking Study
Prints & Tessellations: An Art Study of MC Escher
Gustav Vigeland: Artist & Visionary
Claude Monet
Modern Masters Art Lesson Plans



Artists and Pictures to Study

Picture Study Prints for Kids & the lessons to go with them!
Free Artist Notebook Pages
100 Artists to Study in Your Homeschool
Biographies of 75 artists
Picture Study
Chuck Close Portraits
Artist and Composer Study Round-up

Books to Read

Printables and Activities:

More Resources


Did you find something useful here? Is there something you would add? Share in the comments.


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8 comments:

  1. I find your comments really helpful. What a lot of resources! I'm wondering if you've seen our website, ArtAchieve (https://artachieve.com). We link drawing lessons to artists, literature, science, and social studies. I'd love to have you check it out and tell me what you think of it. Thanks in advance!

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  2. Wow, there are tons of great resources here! I'm especially grateful for all of the unit studies you listed.

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    1. Thanks, Emily! I have a bunch of artists for children. (I don't think I had a lot to do with it other than letting them follow their own interests.) So I'm full of resource ideas. :)

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  3. My kids and I did a study of famous artists recently, and we loved it! Thank you for pulling together so many great resources!

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    1. I saw that! Looks like you guys had fun. Artist studies are one of my favorite things about homeschooling. Another is nature study.

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  4. Tons of great stuff here! I love using notebook pages to put our explorations on. We enjoy learning but an artist and then doing some work inspired by them!

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    1. Precisely. We've been on an unintentional break lately. I can't wait to get back to studying art with the kids.

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  5. This is an awesome list, thanks for all the hard work in providing it!

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Thank you for joining the conversation!