Artist Study

Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889)

What is Artist Study?

We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.

Charlotte Mason

Artist study is an important part of your student’s educational feast, leading to a rich education. Charlotte Mason encourages students to study one artist at a time. Slowing down and narrowing the focus to a single artist will result in absorbing the beautiful work and contribution of one life. 

Below are 5 simple steps to a successful artist study: 

  1. Choose an artist to focus on for the term. 
  2. Learn about the artist’s childhood, training, and contributions. Narrate the story of their life. 
  3. Study one of the artist’s best paintings each week. To do a picture study, look at the painting intently for several minutes with your students. Remove the image and ask your students to narrate what they saw. Narrate what you saw. 
  4. Display the painting in your home. Ask questions to further guide your students’ observations.
    What type of colors are used?
    How did the artist use space?
    How did the artist use proportion?
    If you could ask the artist a question, what would you ask?
    What would you title this painting?
    Did you like this painting?
    What did this painting make you think of?
  5. Give your students an opportunity to create art inspired by the artist study.

Discover the joy of including artist and picture study in your educational feast!