Fans of Impressionist art are going to be thrilled to see our new collection of works by famous French painter Berthe Morisot! Her timeless works are beloved around the world, and I trust your family will enjoy getting familiar with these paintings as well.
This month you can get this collection for FREE if you are a Subscriber Perks Member. Simply sign up to the right, or click here, and I’ll send you your coupon code right away! You’ll also receive my ebooklet How to Use Fine Art Pages in Your Home, which will help you get started with my best ideas right away.
Winter time is the perfect time to have your kids do some great artwork. The weather is nasty & you get all cooped up inside, so try this activity with them on one of those dreary days & see how it perks up everyone’s spirits! This is a mixed media piece that uses watercolor painting in addition to markers & the cutting of snowflakes, too.
What you will need: (affiliate links have been used)
1 piece thick white paper per child (the mixed media type of art paper is good, as it’s not as thick as watercolor paper so it handles the paint but also easier to cut out.)
Pencil, white crayon, red marker & black thin marker – 1 of each per child
Directions: 1. The outline: First you need to decide whether to pre-outline the person’s shape on the white paper for them yourself, or let them do it. This depends on their age and skill level.
Basically, there needs to be a round half-circle for the head, then the top half circle for the body, and then add arms and hands. No details otherwise need to be there, as they are painting over this anyway. Do this with the pencil and try to keep it as light as possible. 2. Painting the sweater: Start out by explaining how watercolor works and not to let it get too soggy wet, but they do have the freedom here to go outside the lines since they will be cutting this out, so you can tell them it’s ok to do that. I suggested bright colors for the sweater part and maybe even a pattern on the sweater to make the picture livelier.
In my example, I painted a blue stripe first, let it dry a minute, then went back and painted a pink one between all the blue, then I let that dry a couple minutes, and then added a darker blue thin stripe between the other colors.
3. Painting the skin: Getting the skin tone right can be tricky. Depending on the skin color you want, starting with pink, orange, or brown and then diluting it with water will help. Practice on the side of the paper to get the color you want. (We will be cutting out our figure, so the sides will be thrown away, so it’s a good place to practice your colors)
Once you get the tone you want, paint in the skin color on the head and the hands and if they choose, also a little pink on the cheeks. The eyes and mouth will be drawn on in marker after it’s dry, so that they are thinner and more legible.
4. Cutting out snowflakes: Now, set that aside and let it dry while they do the next part, which is cutting out snowflakes for their sky. Show them how to do it, even if they’ve done it before. I found that older kids were confident in it, but then didn’t remember how to fold the paper and in result, no snowflake. Make sure the paper is small to start with, as it has to fit on the background, around the person they painted and at least 3 of them looks best. Just a couple of inches square for the paper is good. Fold it in half diagonally, into a triangle, and then again into another triangle before cutting the shapes into the edges.
5. Cutting out the figure and adding details: Once the sweater and skin is dry, the children can cut out their watercolor figure, and glue it on to the background paper, making sure to put the flat bottom edge lined up with the bottom edge of the colored paper.
Using a marker, add facial features and hair. I prefer for the eyes to look closed so that it’s like they are in the snow, catching the snowflakes in their mouth, eyes closed. They can add eyelashes, and then draw an open mouth, with red tongue showing.
6. Snowflakes: Next, have them glue on the snowflakes where they choose. Then use the white crayon to draw falling snow. They can even put a few dots over the body too, to create some depth in the picture. I drew some solid dots and some little swirled circles as well for movement.
As a longtime homeschooling mother of six, I love it when I can find ways to connect different subjects in a way that my kids also enjoy. When I came across this hilarious, surprising, and fun art by Joseph Ducreux, I knew I wanted to bring it to you in a way that both showcased the timeless sense of humor that it embodies, while also inviting you and your family to interact with it. So, Let’s Make a Meme!
To share this language arts activity with your kids, simply print out the art, fun fonts, and accessory pages, and get to work! Let the kids cut out the letters, frames, and emojis, and have fun arranging them and gluing them into place. You’ve got a golden opportunity here to combine art appreciation and language arts in a way that’s current and engaging for your kids, and will have the whole family laughing and having fun!
You can get our Let’s Make a Meme Language Arts Activity Pack FREE by signing up below:
One of the challenges to incorporating more fine arts in our lives can be our preconceived notions about whether or not we’ll like something. We have them. Our kids have them. I’m sure you’ve experienced it. “I don’t want to go to the ballet. It sounds boring!” “Opera? Ew. No thanks!” “An art show opening? Snooze. No way.” But a lot of times if we can experience the arts in their natural habitat, we discover that we like these things quite a lot.
A terrific way to get your kids on board and open to new forms of art is by taking advantage of local opportunities to see their peers performing!
Recently I got to take all four of my teenage boys to see one of their friends performing in a voice recital. She is an amazing 18 year old opera singer, and despite the fact that all of my boys would have said an emphatic “No Thank You!” to opera before, they loved this concert and now are proud to say that they do actually like opera and thought it was pretty awesome!
In this facebook live chat, my son Isaac and I talk about this experience, and how watching our friends or kids close to our age can be a great way to get exposure to different art forms, and discover that we do actually have an appreciation for it!
There are tons of local opportunities to take in low or no-cost arts through recitals, art shows, and more. Here are just a few ideas for places to start finding these events:
voice teachers: probably have recitals at least twice a year
piano teachers: probably have recitals twice a year
dance teachers: probably have recitals twice a year
Suzuki method or other instrument lesson instructors
local schools choral, band, and orchestra concerts
local colleges and universities: year-round art shows and special musical performances by students and faculty, as well as special guests
community arts centers: typically offer art shows, sometimes featuring local students, performance art, and more
Getting out and experiencing art in person is the best way to really make it a part of you, and to get your kids really interacting with it and asking bigger questions about how it all fits in with the rest of what they know!
Today I’m really excited to share this post from fellow homeschooling mom Mary, who is sharing about her family’s visit to the Jepson Center. I’ve never visited Georgia, and now I want to go!
The Jepson Center is located in beautiful historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. It features contemporary arts and rotating exhibits.
It is within walking distance of so many great places and beautiful sights. If you are planning a trip there with your family, you will already be getting a good dose of history and beauty, but if you choose to make it a trip that is part of your homeschooling, then don’t miss out on the Jepson.
A few tips on the area right near there, just to help you out in case you’ve never been, is that much of what you’d go downtown to see is all within a few blocks, for the most part. There are a few parking garages, too, that make it easy to get in and out, unless you luck out and find a spot on the street. There is a garage not too far from the museum.
Now, there are several areas in downtown they call “squares” that all have historical meaning and normally have benches and gorgeous large oak trees, and every one of them is different. The Jepson is near Telfair square and is one building in the Telfair museum group. It is the more modern of the buildings and the main one that houses the new exhibits that change periodically and has the kids’ area in it, which is why for a homeschool visit, it is the one I suggest. It is also free for the kids, so that’s a plus!
The museum has some great sculptures, of both modern and classic style, and a few balcony and outdoor areas that there is some artwork on as well.
The entry alone is a breathtaking space, with hugely tall ceilings, and some of the walls made of glass, so as you enter the museum you and your children will already feel excited to tour it. They have some neat and colorful seating and a really great gift shop in that area. The shop has a lot of items that are not just exclusive to the museum, but some collectibles, some art, many books and more. It isn’t your typical, touristy type of shop.
They have a changing exhibit area upstairs, and when we visited it was an impressionist feature that had many Monet pieces. We had just studied Monet and his work and so it tied right in with our studies. I would suggest that if you know you are going there ahead of time, see what exhibit they have and use it to your advantage in your studies, so the kids can get a little more out of it. If they have already heard about the artist and learned about his or her life and story, and learned about what type of artwork they did and what was important to them, then they will get much more out of seeing the art in person.
There is also a café if your trip happens to fall at lunch or dinner time, but there are also places nearby to eat, within walking distance as well.
The kid’s interactive area is very cool. It is also in a large and beautiful room that has high ceilings and lovely light. They have a literal “glass house” for them to walk through that an artist designed. The walls are glass and some of them house small pieces of glass, and some house actual pieces of art, like vases. It is very cool.
They have an area about architecture with wooden blocks they can build with, and an area about recycling and upcycling with things for them to play with and learn at the same time.
There are areas with interactive sounds and recordings too, and right near this part of the museum is one of the wonderful parts you will enjoy with some of the classic sculptures, including the very famous Bird Girl statue that is so well known from the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was originally in the famous cemetery there but now is a permanent piece in the museum. She is really lovely in person and you can get right up to her also.
The kids have an area where they learn about sculptures as well and can make their own on a large magnetic wall with various metal items. My son who was 8 at the time really enjoyed that part.
Overall the Jepson for us was a really great experience. It was not crowded at all and did not feel like your average museum. It is not overly large, so you will not be dragging your kids through half of it like you can be at some of the other large ones and if you plan the exhibits to your advantage and put the kid’s part after you do some of the things they may not enjoy as much, then they may last a little longer for you, too.
Teaching them about art and the history that ties in with it will be something they will really look back on with good memories and will be grateful you spent time on that, and not just the math, science, reading and writing. The cultures are important for them to learn about and it is something that can get lost at times in schools when the focus becomes more on the test scores, so spend the time with them on this while you’ve got it.
At first glance, it can easily seem that the arts has solely been the domain of white men, for white men, until the last hundred or fewer years. Thankfully, there is plenty of diversity within the history of the arts, if we are willing to seek it out. This new collection includes 30 printable works of art featuring people of color, from a wide range of artists, from the 1400s to the 1800s. You’ll learn about prominent men and women that were active in the arts world, politics, and their communities, and enjoy a glimpse into various cultures and time periods that is interesting and diverse. This month our subscribers can get this collection completely FREE! Enter your email here and we will get you set up!