I have long used the Dover Art Cards for our study of art. They are very reasonable priced and they are helpful to show a large number of paintings by a single artist.
Here’s what we do:
*I introduce the artist with a short biography. I particularly enjoy the Getting to Know the World’s Greatist Artists series by Mike Venezia. Our library has a good collection of them, but they are available new and used on Amazon.com for a reasonable price.
*After introducing the artist, we view their artwork on the internet or with the Dover Art Cards if they are available. We choose one of the pieces to be our wallpaper on our computer. I will challenge my children to memorize the name of the painting and the style or period that it is from. The boys sometimes will memorize more than one piece and will use the Dover Art Cards to quiz themselves.
*We choose four pieces this way, one each week for four weeks. At the end of the four week period, they will make an entry in their art journal narrating about the artist and giving a review of any of the pieces they liked and why. They also add the artist to their timeline by printing out a portrait of the artist and gluing it in their notebook.
*An activity we enjoy with the cards is to try to copy the artwork for our journal. My children will decide which piece of artwork they like and then use colored pencils, watercolors, or oils to try to duplicate the artwork. I’m always surprised which pieces they choose and they how well they turn out.
*Use the cards as a way to review an artist at the end of each term. Challenge your children and yourself to name the artist and the painting’s title.
I recommend that you preview any sets of cards that you want to use with your children. Some of the sets contain nudes and would be unacceptable in some families. I personally buy the sets I want and then toss out any of the cards that I think are not appropriate.
Here is a list of my favorites: Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Mary Cassatt
Tips for storage:
*Separate the cards from the books they come in.
*Use a rubber band to keep each group of cards together and store the cards in a photo box with homemade dividers showing the artist’s name.
*Alternately: Slip each artist’s cards into a sheet protector and store them in a binder.
You will not go wrong in ordering some of these sets of cards. They will be used for many years, at least they have in our home. I usually order mine from Amazon.com, but you can find them at Rainbow Resource as well.
Written by Barb-Harmony Art mom. She also blogs at http://www.harmonyartmom.blogspot.com/