This is the second art lesson we did using the book Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children. I’m not going to go into great detail about the artist or details on how to do the activity because you can get those details from the book, but rather I want to show you what my children did and what we learned from it. For each lesson I read the brief introduction about the artist to my son, and we looked up images of the artist’s work online.
As I wrote in my main post about art, 1st Grade Art Explorations, I have wanted to introduce some artists and their techniques to my son. We do a lot of art and building around here, and my son is developing his creativity tremendously from the way we homeschool. I hope these occasional formal lessons will give him more to think about as he continues on with his own creative work.
Fra Giovanni Angelico, according to Discovering Great Artists, was an Italian monk who was one of the greatest painters of the early Renaissance. The book also tells us, “Artists of this era often gave halos to the angels and people in their paintings…. Halos were often made with real gold, not with gold paint. Gold metal was pounded into a very thin sheet called ‘gold leaf’, then glued onto the wall or canvas or varnish. Young artists paint beautiful pictures with “silver leaf” decoration using everyday aluminum foil.
My four-year-old wasn’t interested in this exercise, but from this photo, you can see what my seven-year-old and I did. He did the dragon on the right. (He’s really into dragons right now.) I did the sun.
He made the dragon’s wing out of aluminum foil and then tried painting over it. We discovered that this didn’t work so well. The paint dried and began to flake off. He also messed up something around the feet of the dragon, and I filled in that area with white paint, trying to show him how he can blend his mistakes in, making shadows or light. I think his painting turned out quite nice.