multicolored paint drippings

How We Homeschool – The Arts

Confession: I’m not the most creative or artistically gifted person in the world, which meant for years I actively avoided any art tasks that couldn’t be added to a science or humanities project I had planned. This year, I am taking on the daunting task of intentionally giving my children an art education (of sorts), every Friday morning. Today’s blog post will cover how our first lesson of the year went, and will be updated regularly throughout the year. I will also include some useful links for anybody who has a budding artist on their hands!

pain brushes inside clear plastic cups
Photo by Jadson Thomas on
Term 1A

Earlier in the week, we had an ‘easing back into things’ day during which the children made their own sketch/art books for the term. You can find the video that inspired us here (bonus points for being bilingual – Spanish/English).

Lesson 1Colour Wheels, Georgia O’Keeffe & Vivaldi
This term we are learning about Plants in our science lessons from Elemental Science. Our first task was to make a colour wheel, learning about primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The children loved exploring the relationships between the different colours. I then asked them to take a walk around the garden, using the new knowledge they had gained about colours and to decide which side of the colour spectrum the different green leaves were on. They were fascinated to see some were more blue and others were more yellow, than they had previously realised. We then looked at Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist famous for her paintings of flowers and desert landscapes. The children wrote down a few facts about her in their sketchbooks. I also had Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, playing in the background for a little musical inspiration & appreciation.

Throughout the term we will try to recreate some of O’Keeffe’s most famous paintings, as well as make our own.

Lesson 2 – Flower Study
Continuing with our Plants Science Unit Study, we looked at flowers this week. I decided it was a great opportunity to do study some of O’Keffee’s flower paintings and tried to recreate them. The children picked a painting each and used their colour wheels from last week to help mix the paints correctly. We took photos of the finished artwork and put them into our art/sketchbooks alongside the original for comparison. The children included the title and year of the original piece and wrote a sentence or two about what they did.

I also continued with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, playing in the background for a little musical inspiration & appreciation. We will look at him in more detail and what an orchestra is later on this half term.

Lesson 3 – Fruit Study & Complementary Colours
We have been learning about fruits and seeds in science this week, so we picked some fruits from our kitchen for a still life/observational drawing session. The children then wanted to use their new watercolours to try to create the various hues of green and we used our colour wheels to learn about complementary colours for the background. They loved how it made their fruit paintings really stand out! They wrote the title, year and the medium used underneath (like the REAL artists they are!).

Lesson 4 – Vivaldi, Autumn
We have been listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons during our Art & Science sessions each week, today we spent the first part of our lesson listening to Autumn, learning about who Vivaldi was and drawing how his music makes us feel/what it makes us think of. This is a great video to watch for familiarity with the different sections of the orchestra:

The second part of our lesson was spent planning a Mini Art Show – the theme is Autumn, and I can’t wait to see what the children come up.

Useful Links:

  • Tate Kids have lots of information on different artists, as well as inspiration to try to make your own art projects
  • Nurture Store has a FREE homeschool art curriculum, giving you a year’s worth of art lessons with plenty of art history and techniques.
  • If you’re looking for something a bit more ‘official’, Technology Triumphs offer Level 1 and Level 2 NCFE qualifications ofr children aged 12+ in Creative Crafts – Mixed Media & Textiles

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