Friday 22 February 2013

Manet: Still LIfe and Portraits

We did our usual study at home using postcards and printouts of a few of Manet's work as well as looking through the collection here.

Once again, we relied on documentaries to (1) tell us more about the man himself (caution: both clips contain artistic nudity):

and (2) understand one of his masterpieces a little bit better:

After watching the documentaries, we decided to set up a simple still life.  Tiger first did an observational sketch in pencil:

We melted broken crayon pieces that we have saved over the years in a muffin tin, and Tiger used a Q-tip to apply the melted crayons on his sketch.  He had to work fast as the crayons solidified very quickly.

After this step, Tiger switched to using tempera paint to complete the background of his work:

Here is Tiger's masterpiece:

I often tag along in Tiger's activities, especially in art, so I did a sketch using ballpoint pen then painted it in watercolour.  Still life is more difficult than I had imagined.

Then we went to see the Manet exhibition and attended a portraiture workshop at the Royal Academy of Arts.

After going around the exhibition looking at Manet's masterly brush strokes, we headed to the workshop room to participate in a preliminary exercise to help us loosen up and to understand how brush strokes work.  We were each given three brushes of varying sizes and a black-and-white copy of Manet's work.

We were to use only black acrylic paint to copy the still life photo in 5 minutes.   No prelimiary sketches; paint directly with the brushes.  It was hard!

Tiger's version
My version
Next we repeated the exercise using black and white acrylic paint.  Again in 5 minutes.

Tiger's version
My version
Finally, we were given 8 minutes to paint a portrait of someone famous, using black, white and blue paint.  We were given photos of five famous people to choose from.  Tiger chose pirates:

Here is his interpretation of the man on the left in the photo above:

I chose a local politician's glamourous wife.  I was just building up my painting to a recognisable stage when the 8 minutes were up.  Oh well.

This post is linked up to:
1) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter 
2) Hearts for Home Blog Hop #5
3) Homeschool Mother's Journal: February 22, 2013
4) Hobbies and Handicrafts - Feb 22
5) Collage Friday - Family, History, and More
6) TGIF Linky Party #64
7) It's a Wrap
8) Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Busy Break Week
9) Share it Saturday - Feb 23
10) The Sunday Showcase - 2/23/13
11) Hip Homeschool Hop - 2/26/13
12) Virtual Refrigerator


  1. We use the Come Look with Me Series too and I love it. We haven't done too much artwork on our own. It's great that you tried to recreate the paintings.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. We've used the "Come Look with Me" series for many years. I've found the series to be a very straight forward introduction to art appreciation. :-)

  3. Awesome study. We are almost ready to launch into Picasso.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. What a wonderful study of Manet! Great resources and going to see an exhibit is awesome.

  5. Wow! What a wonderful study (and great artwork!)

  6. I can't tell you how much I like the idea of painting with crayons!! What fun! I'm thinking it's probably an activity for my older ones rather than younger ones? Definitely will be trying this one.

  7. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. :-)

    Dawn - Picasso is on our list for this year as well, perhaps in a few months' time, so it'll be interesting to see how you're approaching this topic.

    Claire - the melted crayons solidified VERY quickly so your children will have to work very fast. My guess is also that it's probably better to use this activity with your older children because the muffin tin does get hot from being in the oven. Have fun!

  8. Great paintings! Looks like you had an interesting study. Have a great week!

    Suburban Farm Girl

  9. What a great the melted crayon technique. Thanks for sharing on HammockTracks. -Savannah

  10. I wish I could have been one of your students and come with you on this wonderful art journey. What a fortunate lad Tiger is to be home-schooled by you. I like his artwork too.

  11. Hi Jez! What a nice surprise to see you here! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. :-)

  12. I love the artwork. I miss the boat on including art in our lessons so I am inspired. Thanks!

  13. What Beautiful art! Thanks for sharing on Share it Saturday!

  14. Just to let you know I've featured this on The Sunday Showcase:


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