Homeschool Art Lesson: Tommasso Masaccio

Above: After he had his profile traced, my four-year-old painted it. I love it.

This is the third art lesson we did using the book Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children.  I’m not going 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.

As the book tells us, Tommasso Massacio was famous for his portraits during the Renaissance. He also liked to add details such as hats and jewelry.  This was a fun activity in which we all took turns sitting sideways in front of a wall, and I set up a flashlight so that a shadow of our profiles appeared on the wall.  We taped a piece of paper to the wall and then we traced our shadows.

I traced my seven-year-old’s profile, and he traced my four-year-old’s and my profile. However, that is as far as he wanted to go with this activity. He was not into painting the profiles at all.

But my four-year-old painted his own profile, and I think it has become one of my favorite pieces of art in our house! Look at that color! I love it! I think Massacio would approve, don’t you?

He inspired me to paint my seven-year-old’s profile with lots of color too, which you can see below on the right, although I don’t like mine as well as his. I told my seven-year-old I was painting his brain – indeed, I think that his brain is full of wonderful color and imaginative things!

Above: My four-year-old inspired me to make a colorful profile of my eldest son. (on the right)

Meanwhile, my seven-year-old busied himself with his own art. He’s very much into dragons right now, and he’s been very interested in learning about (and building) the Mayflower too. So he decided he wanted to paint a sea dragon attacking the Mayflower!

My seven-year-old was not so interested in this exercise, so he painted this picture of a dragon attaching the Mayflower.

Please share a link with some of the art you’ve made lately.

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