Great Artist Study

As we are learning to draw, contour and volume drawing, using Mona Brooks’ book Drawing with Children with other resources, an interest in who were the great artists was sparked.

I looked at many note-booking pages.  I looked at many of the programs.  I decided to let the interest develop on its own.  That is to say that I purchased a second-hand book that contained famous artists, and I asked my child which ones did she want to study.  I added some, of course, that I thought were very relevant.

After researching how to compile and document the course of study, I decided on a very simple approach.  I purchased a composition notebook from the office supply store.  With my child sitting beside me, we created a title graphic for the front cover.  I used clear contact paper larger than the graphic design to fix it to the front of the book.

Great Artist Study

As any reference book has a table of contents, we created a table of contents for the notebook.  We left three pages blank at the front of the book.  We started with number one and numbered each subsequent page after the first three.

Great Artist Study

Steps to follow for the great artist study:

1.  Choose an artist.

2.  Record the artist in the table of contents.

3.  Create a title page for the artist.  Record birth and death dates.  Display a photo or sketch of the artist.  Create a title or heading for the page.

4.  Research and print small graphics of the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, et cetera.

5.  Write a short paragraph about the artist.

6.  Mount the graphics in your notebook.  Write blurbs containing the title of the work, if known, and any relevant fact, if desired, about the piece.

7.  Record the beginning page number and the ending page number in the table of contents.

This is an example of a completed artist study:

Cover Page

Great Artist Study

Biography Page

Great Artist Study

Famous Works with Blurbs

I think that you can over plan.  In this case, I took a very Charlotte-Mason approach.  I do not think that this should be something that is overcomplicated.  My child has enjoyed the assembly and the investigation.  As you can see from the examples, I help to write too.  She dictated the biographical introduction.  I do not make a fuss over spelling or handwriting as long as the word is recognizable and the writing legible.  This is more a diary of investigation or a record of interest.

Here are some of the artists that we will be studying this year:

  • Vernon Grant
  • Edvard Munch
  • da Vinci
  • Rembrandt
  • Van Gogh
  • Michelangelo
  • Raphael
  • Monet
  • Matisse
  • Boticelli
  • Picasso
  • Thomas Kinkaid
  • Renoir
  • Bellini
  • Georgia O’Keeffe

I attempted to be very diverse.  I did not follow a model that would correlate history and art either.  A classical education does not demand that everything adhere to a period of historical study.  It demands that you seek knowledge and understanding.


I found this resource here. This is Study-An-Artist by Live and Learn Press.  You could use the mini-books inside your notebook or create lapbooks.

Visit Practical Pages.  Add these lapbook elements to your pages.  Your notebook will develop a personality and become very interactive.  I truly have enjoyed adding lapbook pieces to our notebooks.



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6 responses to “Great Artist Study

  1. I added to our study. Masterpieces, A Fact-Filled Coloring Book has over 60 famous paintings and their stories. I have since picked up many of these types of books. My child has enjoyed reproducing and even altering the pieces. We place them in plastic sheet protectors and into a three-ring binder.

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  4. Looks great! Thanks for the idea!

  5. What a lovely, simple approach! I’m sure your child will treasure this book! I have made wall charts and biography pages for our Famous Artists studies. We bind our notebook pages. This year I want to add more prints of great works to our pages.

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