One aspect of the Charlotte Mason’s approach is to use Art Study.
Here is an 8-minute video that clearly explains how to do the Picture Study Method with your children from Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNcl4E2ifC8
For this method, you will encourage your students to form a relationship with the artist and become familiar with the work of art. Here is a summary based on the Youtube video that was created by Sonya Shafer.
Select an artist to study for 6-12 weeks. Find 6 paintings, or pictures of other forms of art, from the artist. Show one painting per week or every 2 weeks. If possible, find large pictures of the paintings to help your student see the details the artist carefully created. Look on Google Images, National Gallery of Art’s open access images, etc. for ideas.
With the Student(s):
- Once per week, show one new picture to the child. Say who the artist is and the name of the painting.
- Have the child look at the picture and study it. The child closes his/her eyes, and then tries to think if he/she can remember all parts of the picture. Any “fuzzy” parts in his/her memory can be filled in by opening his/her eyes and seeing that part.
- Once the child thinks the image is in his/her “head,” then without looking at the picture (e.g., flip over the picture), the child will describe all aspects of the picture that he/she remembers. During the discussion, you can say what you remember, too.
- Then show the child the picture again, and notice anything you and the child did not notice in the picture, or might have not remembered accurately.
- This process takes about 5-minutes. It’s very simple.
During the Week:
- Display the work of art in a prominent location where the child can see it.
- Review previously learned art, briefly (name of work, artist).
This seems like a very simple and effective way to learn about art. I am all about trying to keep things simple, yet finding ways for my students to learn about wide variety of topics.
Ideas for Picture Studies:
- Since we use Catholic Schoolhouse, my children are exposed to different works of art each quarter. The art that we study is chosen based on when the artist was alive during our history timeline. The Art book also provides some art history background for the artwork. http://www.catholicschoolhouse.com/learn-more/integrated-art-program/
- Simply Charlotte Mason has Picture Study materials you can purchase and is very clearly designed, too; I do not have this, but it’s on my future wish list. https://simplycharlottemason.com/store/picture-study-portfolios/
(Picture Credit: Oarsmen at Chatou, 1879 Auguste Renoir from the National Gallery of Art Images online)