I was pleasantly surprised that they got into my lesson about still life.
If I had more time, I would write a post after each art session, but instead I’m trying to catch up this homeschool year on my blog. (This is why I’ve been posting more lately, or actually, why I scheduled a bunch of posts over a few days in early February. Those will eventually run out. As you can see, I blog in spurts. Or between magazine issues. 🙂 )
So here’s a little assemblage of various “art days” that usually take place on Fridays, though art is not restricted to that day. The boys do a lot of art projects on their own, but Fridays are the days when I initiate something, and sometimes I try to teach them a new technique and tell them about an artist who used that technique. I am neither an artist, nor do I know a lot about art, so I have used a few resources to help me out. My favorite go-to resource for this has been Amy Hood’s Art Together e-zine.
Some Fridays when I’m not (ahem) prepared, I say things like “My only requirement of you today is to draw a picture in your sketchbook.” (This usually results in more than one piece of artwork.) Or one morning, I woke up early and had already started to paint some of the nature collection that my son had left on the table the day before. When my boys saw me doing that, they immediately wanted to join me. (I didn’t know that this is called a “provocation” until I read Amy Hood’s recent art column in home / school / life.)
Sometimes I try to teach the boys a new technique, and they are not interested in doing the project, such as when I showed them Joseph Cornell’s art boxes (via Art Together). Usually they want to do something else like paint or draw. This is fine. Unlike math and reading, I don’t require them to do the art lessons because I think art should be fun and voluntary. When they see me produce the art, they are still learning about that technique, and they learn a new possibility.
Looking back over these art sessions, I’m reminded that there was a time when I felt like our homeschool was desperately missing out on art. Because of that, I was intentional about starting “Art Fridays.” I’m so pleased with how this has turned out, and I think my boys have benefitted from it greatly. Of course, there are other things I feel like we are missing out on, such as Spanish lessons or belonging to a big homeschool group, but alas, one thing at a time. As many homeschool moms have told me, you can’t do everything, and you shouldn’t worry about doing everything, and someday you may look back and realize you did more than enough.
Click on an image to enlarge and read the caption. Also, a big thanks to Mo Akwati for his tutorial on how to draw a moth, which my dissatisfaction of my own drawing inspired him to do.
Printmaking Lesson inspired by Amy Hood’s Art Together e-zine. We read about Hokusai and Japanese printmaking too.
8yo’s whale stamp is so cool.
Stamps and feathers by 5yo.
Feathers made a cool effect.
8yo’s first attempt with Speedy Carve Block and Lino Cutters that I bought at hobby store.
More printmaking by 5yo and me.
My watercolor attempts. I used a black Sharpie for outline. **My dissatisfaction with this inspired Mo Awkati to do a tutorial on his website for me. Please see blog post for more information.
At his request, I drew this feather, and he painted it.
Painting nature objects — what a great morning.
8yo’s completed starfish.
Another go at printmaking. 8yo’s swordfish.
The completed swordfish by 8yo.
One morning I had to go to an appointment with 5yo, and I left 8yo instructions to draw in his sketchbook. He enjoyed that requirement.
8yo hasn’t been as interested in drawing as 5yo. But he found a “How to Draw Castles, Dragon and Knights” book I had left on the shelf, and he drew several pictures using it. He also drew several dinosaurs from a “How to draw Dinosaurs” book that I had bought for 5yo.
One Friday morning was just a free-for-all, and 5yo decided to draw feathers. He was frustrated with his drawings until I showed him he could trace a real feather. (He collects feathers too!)
So excited about his feather drawings!
Very serious work.
Friday Art Day is an open and free art exploration day in our house.
When I asked for one drawing in his sketchbook, 8yo decided to try out our new watercolor paints.
He drew and painted a Luna Moth
Completed Luna Moth. (He has an interest in moths. It’s fun to see it come up now and again.)
Some of my own work. Tried to draw and paint 8yo’s deer skull.
Leaves are my favorites.
I was pleased with this one.
Our last art lesson was about Joseph Cornell’s boxes which I learned about in Art Together. I was the only one who made a box. I used my own photographs, some twigs and painted leaves. 5yo painted the green ones for me. (8yo keeps saying he’s going to make a box. We shall see.)