Friday, 30 August 2013

Planning: Life Skills - Cooking

One of the new things that we are adding to our homeschool this year is cooking.  While Tiger has baked on-and-off since he was little, with increased consistency encouraged by our introduction to regular poetry teatime, I'd like him to get beyond baking and to learn the real skills of cooking.  Tiger is interested in his food -- both eating and cooking it, so learning how to cook a proper meal is a natural extension to meet his growing need for independence.

After some discussions about what he and I hope to achieve from this, we have come up with the following goals: (1) to be able to cook a decent meal for himself with minimal assistance, and (2) to be able to prepare a family dinner once a week.  By a "decent meal", I mean one that is:
  • delicious
  • appetising
  • nutritious
In order to achieve these goals, Tiger will not only have to learn how to use the utensils in the kitchen, but also learn how to:
    1. make a meal plan
    2. find the best source of ingredients
    3. have a good understanding of the different types of food
    4. how to combine them to make the meal appealing to the senses
    5. how the different food types affect the human body individually and in different combinations
    We will be learning from The Science of Gastronomy, different websites and books, and whatever else we will find along the way (as we inevitably do when we start studying deeply into something).

    Julie at Highhill Homeschool shared a great idea of how she incorporates writing into her son's personal cookbook.  I am going to borrow that idea and try it out with Tiger.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. iHomeschool Network Not Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week 2013
    2. Collage Friday - First Week of Foundations
    3. TGIF Linky Party #92
    4. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Crazy Week
    5. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 31, 2013}
    6. HIp Homeschool Hop - 9/3/13

    Thursday, 29 August 2013

    Planning: Foreign Language

    Tiger has been studying Mandarin Chinese now with very slow progress.  We have been using the same level one book for three years and he still hasn't completed it.  Gasp!!!  The slow progress is due to a combination of a lack of exposure as well as my insistence upon him knowing how to write the Chinese characters fluently (a similar process to the English dictation) before moving on to the next lesson.  Tiger progress steadily conversationally but I don't consider him to be literate in this language until he can write it fluently.

    The Chinese language is very different from the the English language in terms of sounds, characters, and sentence structures.  I imagine the difficult Tiger is facing is the same as if I were to try to learn the Russian language while residing in Botswana.  It just doesn't seem so relevant to him.

    There are many examples of adults of European and African origins who have successfully mastered the Chinese language, so we will not be giving up on learning the language any time soon.  It may take Tiger twelve years to get to the equivalent of a primary school level in Chinese, so be it.  I would be worried about his progress if we were living in China where exposure to the language is in abundance but I realise that we are living in an area in England where we hardly see another Chinese person.  So far, I have been able to prevent Tiger from abandoning the language totally by going at his pace.   The last thing I want is for him to develop a distaste for the language because he is learning it in an environment with very little readily available, real-life exposure to the language and its usage.

    To improve Tiger's reading ability, I have him read one basic reader (simliar to the English learn-to-read type books) to me each day.

    As Tiger has been using these same books for several years, he is able to read them quite fluently.  Hence, I have raised the bar slightly by having him translate each page to me as he reads.  This is to ensure that he understands the content of what he reads, rather than merely reading from memory or parroting the phonetic pinyin sounds.

    In addition to conitnuing our lessons at home, Tiger is doing a 15-minute daily practice of the HSK Level 1 Mandarin.  I have also found a weekly children's Mandarin class near us which Tiger will start attending in September.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week 2013
    2. Lesson Planning Link up -Foreign Language
    3. Collage Friday - First Week of Foundations
    4. TGIF Linky Party #92
    5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Crazy Week
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 31, 2013}
    7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 9/3/13

    Tuesday, 27 August 2013

    A-Rowing We Went

    After we have read the book several times, we decided to listen to a dramatised version of the story.  The version we have is recorded by the BBC, which we thought was very well done.

    The music and voices were so captivating that we listened to the recording in the car on our way to the River and Rowing Museum, which is the only museum in the country that has a gallery fully dedicated to The Wind in the Willows.

    The gallery was, in Tiger's words, "enchanting".  It truly was.  The exhibits (skilfully crafted 3D models of the main characters and scenes in the story) were arranged in such a way that they make you 'walk through the story'.  We couldn't get enough of it and went through the gallery three times slowly to immerse ourselves in the nostalgic world of The Wind in the Willows.  I say "nostalgic" because the story is essentially about an old England where rural life was the dominant way of life, where a sense of frienship, community and congeniality was more prominent than it is now.

    After that we went to the River gallery to learn about many topics that pertain to river study:
    • the history of River Thames
    • uses of rivers (e.g. transportation, milling)
    • geographic structure of rivers
    • river habitat
    • water cycle

    While we were at the museum, Tiger attended a model motor-boat making workshop.  The workshop was led by a professional boat maker who came into the session fully prepared with all the materials and a scaled-down model boat design plan.

    He gave a detailed explanation to the children about the plan and what they were required to do to put the model boat together (photo 1).  Then off they went with measuring, cutting, plying, gluing and generally assembling the model together (photos 2 to 6).

    Tiger assembled the boat largely by himself but he did require some help from the workshop leader when it came to screwing the motor on (photo 7).  That was the final step before the boat was assembled (photo 8).  Tiger then tested his boat in a small paddling pool (photo 9).  Success!

    The workshop included a visit to the Rowing gallery where we learnt about the history of the sport of rowing, the science behind boat building, the different materials that make up a rowing boat, and the history of boat making.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/27/13
    2. Hobbies and Handicrafts = Entertaining and Educational
    3. Collage Friday - First Week of Foundations
    4. TGIF Linky Party #92
    5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Crazy Week
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 31, 2013}

    Saturday, 24 August 2013

    Just Messing About on the River

    We started our study of The Wind in the Willows by having shared reading sessions between Tiger and I of the original, unabridged version of the book.  This is part of our language arts lesson using a corresponding back issue of The Arrow to help us get deeper into our reading.  So far so good.  Our first session went on easily enough, with a surprise in store for me as I dictated two fairly long sentences taken from the first chapter of the book for Tiger to write.  I was half expecting Tiger to encounter some difficulty at this point since we did not do any dictation or spelling last year.  Furthermore, Tiger has never been too keen on writing more than a few words on paper.

    Maybe it is the summer, or perhaps Tiger found the new format intriguing.  Anyhow he managed to write the entire dictation passage down without making any mistake in spelling or punctuation, and he wrote it in cursive handwriting!

    I suspect this sudden improvement in Tiger's ability to write neatly and to spell accurately has to do with a few things:
    1. A gradual and natural maturation over time that helps with his fine motor skills - I had tried to enforce daily practice of cursive handwriting at the beginning of the year but that soon fell by the wayside because Tiger has never been keen on repetitive tasks.
    2. Reading voraciously.  I'd really like to claim credit for Tiger's spelling ability, but without having done any spelling activity in the previous year, Tiger's ability to spell accurately can only be attributed to his exposure to words from reading many good quality books. 
    We then watched a short clip that gave us some background to the book:

    The following book gave a more detailed description to the background of Kenneth Grahame, his life, and the motivation behind the story:

    This post is linked up to:
    1. Hobbies and Handicrafts - August 23
    2. Collage Friday - Week 1 of The Big Change!
    3. TGIF Linky Party #91
    4. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where Our First Break Week Sped By
    5. Homeschool Review - with a Science and History Focus
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 24, 2013}
    7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/27/13

    Monday, 19 August 2013

    Planning: Music

    I don't post about what we do for music education often here because:
    • it doesn't happen often enough
    • it hasn't happened in a way that I find interesting enough to blog about

    Sure, we listen to Classic FM in the car often, as a way to cultivate Tiger's taste in this genre.  We also attend ballet and opera performances at the Royal Opera House every now and then, and I also teach Tiger to play the piano, about musicianship, and music theory at home.  Is this enough?  It seems to be ok for the most part, but I keep having a nagging feeling that I ought to be doing more.  Hence I am putting together a plan for the new year that I hope will make our music learning more engaging.

    Music Appreciation
    We have been listening to classical music for a number of years.  While Tiger can identify a few composers from their musical styles when unfamiliar pieces of music come on the radio, I am not sure there is enough active engagement on the listener's part.  I am not inclined to introduce notebooking simply because I have come to view them to be as effective as workbooks as a tool of learning.  Notebooking and workbooks may work well for some children and for certain subjects, but I personally struggle to find a correlation between filling in pages of names/dates/titles and any real application towards the creation of art and music.  Consider this: does writing down names of artists/musicians, the dates of their lives, the titles of their work enable a student to create his or her own pieces of art/music?  Unlikely.  It is more suitable as a means to help the child become an art/music historian, which is very different from being an artist/musician who actually creates something original.

    The act of passive listening also bothers me in terms of the undefined outcome that goes with it.  What kind of result, exactly, are we expecting to see from our children from merely listening to classical music?  I am constantly haunted by a passage that I read in The Element which describes how Paul McCartney and George Harrison, who went to school together and loved music but didn't enjoy music class where all the music teacher ever did was to let the children listen to records of classical music.  The book went on to say that their music teacher never thought they had potential as musicians, to which Robinson responded with, "He had half the Beatles in his class and missed it. That was a bit of an oversight, if you don't mind my saying." 

    With the above in mind, I want to develop a more systematic, active, and engaging approach to our Western music appreciation.  I aim to cover the following topics as a foundation:
    1. Instruments of the orchestra - using The Story of the Orchestra and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra 
    2. Musical genres - using various books and musical examples to introduce the concepts of symphony, ballet, and opera.
    3. Music elements - using Listening to Music Elements

    Composer Study
    As we work through the above topics, I expect that we'll naturally branch out to study relevant composers as we come across them.  Just off the top of my head, these are the composers that will probably be relevant to us:
    • Haydn
    • Beethoven
    • Bizet
    • Tchaikovsky
    The way that I envisage composer study to work for us is that it will be very similar to the way we approach artist study, i.e. using biographies and documentaries.  An alternative to tie composer study into music history by going through the different periods of music in the same way as one might learn about artists through the different art movements.

    Piano, Music Theory, and Musicianship
    After a few year's of extremely slow progress at playing the piano, we have established that Tiger's interest does not lie in becoming an instrumentalist in the traditional sense, i.e. he's probably not going to get the LTCL from Trinity College at 17 like I did.  However since I am able to teach him to play the piano, learn music theory and musicianship at home, we will continue to do so on a regular basis, with the understanding that these skills are to form the foundation of Tiger's musical knowledge.

    Electronic Music and Production
    Tiger has been playing around with music production software for some time.  While he has not been overly enthusiastic about listening to classical music or piano lessons, he works on the software to create different rhythms, beats, and sounds, whenever he has time in-between our lessons at home.  Seeing this reminds me of another passage in The Element which tells of how "Paul McCartney could not stand music at school, but he discovered his own music and became Paul McCartney."  The idea that I glean from this is to give Tiger the opportunity to just play around and experiment with music making, even if it is not happening in the medium that I recognise, such as playing a traditional musical instrument.

    While there are many online courses for electronic music, I plan to let Tiger play around with Reason while working through the online tutorials and getting some tips from Tortoise (who had trained with Berklee) every now and then .

    Other Exposures
    1.  Singing - Last year Tiger had an opportunity to participate in a 6-week choir training where he learnt many aspects of singing (e.g. pitch, tone, rhythm, harmony) through musical games.  At the end of the six weeks, the choir performed what they had learnt at a care home for the elderly.  I thought the performance was good in that:
    • It gave the children a chance to do a simple act of charity by bringing some joy to the elderly people
    • It also gave them the confidence to sing in public.
    • It created a community for the children to sing and make music together.

    2.  Music workshops - A while ago Tiger attended a junk-percussion workshop at Wigmore Hall.

    The purpose of the workshop was to encourage children to make their own percussion instruments out of junk materials such as soda bottles, cardboard boxes, elastic bands, beans, etc, then improvise a rhythmic piece to go with their instruments.  Below is a clip of Tiger's home-made "drum":

    After they have presented their improvised instrument and music to the group, the children had a chance to work in small groups with a professional musician to play with musical ideas and to compose a group piece to perform to the other groups.  Tiger's group leader was a drummer so they had a great time jamming together.

    I will be keeping my eyes out for more singing and workshop opportunities for Tiger in the coming year.

    Based on the above observations, and after reading passages about Paul McCartney's unpromising start in his early music training in The Element, I have had to reconsider my assumptions that:
    • Tiger is not interested in music
    • Tiger has no inclination towards music
    His enthusiastic participation in what I consider to be the non-traditional ways of music training is forcing me to "stop being a classical music snob" (as Tortoise would say) and to broaden my own ideas of what constitutes music making so that I am able to support Tiger more meaningfully in this area.  The last I want is to become an adult like Paul McCartney's teacher who drew the wrong conclusion about his student because he was blindsided by his own traditionalist ideas of what a potential musician should look like.

    Thursday, 15 August 2013

    Planning: Art

    Art is one of the few things that I am happy with how it has been going for us.  We take a fairly relaxed yet engaged approach when it comes to art yet it is reassuring for me to know, from the Art and Inquiry course that I have been taking over the summer, that we have been following the inquiry-based approach without calling it that.  My basic goal is to ensure that Tiger not only has an appreciation of who's who in the art world, but that he also develops his skills through hands-on engagement in the style of the artist that he studies.

    This summer we had fun doing our in-house art summer school, wherein Tiger had a taste of a different aspect of visual arts each day.  Art Lab for Kids has been so useful that I intend to save the rest of the activities for next summer when I hope we will have another round of art summer school at home.

    Visual Fine Arts
    Come September, I plan to continue our artists study in pretty much the same way as we have been doing all along:
    1. Using BBC Your Paintings as a starting point, supplemented with information from Smarthistory and field trips to various galleries and art museums.
    2. These will be supported by reading biographies and watching documentaries about each artist, 
    3. Followed by a hands-on project in the style of the artist.
     I have in mind the following artists to study in the new academic year:
    • Gauguin
    • Vermeer
    • Lowry
    • Klimt
    • Whistler
    • Durer
    • Klee
    • Matisse
    • Turner
    • Rembrandt
    Crafts and Journals
    Alongside fine arts, I also hope to work on more crafts as part of our cultural geography study as we pick up where we left off with Marco Polo.  I also hope to continue our efforts in nature journaling, using that as an opportunity to practise observational drawing.

    Another idea that I've been wanting to try out is the art journal.  We started the process but did not carry on because there are so many other things that push art journaling out of the way.  This year I'd like to give it a go again.  To make it work, my plan is to:
    1. do it once a month (so that the activity is manageable on a consistent basis)
    2. use prompts from Friday Freewrite as our writing topic
    3. use the ideas from here for the page layout

    Tiger will continue with his fortnightly drama class where he is taught a variety of different theatrical genres and techniques.

    I am pleased with the developments that Tiger has made since he started taking drama lessons with this group.  The exposure has been positive and varied for him.  Under the guidance of the drama teacher, the children have learned to analyse and act out a Shakespearean play, learnt specific drama/acting skills, and participated in a forum theatre, which is an innovative form of theatre that involves interactions between the actors and audience to resolve a "problem" that they face in the world.

    I am looking forward to a year of many interesting artistic exposure for Tiger.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week 2013
    2. Lesson Planning Link up - Art and Handicrafts
    3. Virtual Refrigerator - Refrigerator Art
    4. Collage Friday - Hitting Our Stride and a Field Trip
    5. TGIF Linky Party #90 
    6. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One at the End of the First Six Weeks
    7. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 17, 2013}
    8. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/20/13

    Wednesday, 14 August 2013

    Art Summer School: Mixed Media

    Our first mixed media exercise was Lab 43: Painting with Paper Inclusions.

    We found that mixed media projects are much more involved than single-media projects.  Not only did Tiger have to sketch his drawing on a canvas board (photo 1), he had to cut out pieces of papers to fit into shape and size of his image.  After several unsuccessful attempts at trying to fit the cut-outs -- originally cut in a freehand style -- into his image, I suggested that Tiger use a tracing paper to trace his drawing (photo 2), then use the shapes on the tracing paper as templates to have a precise cut of the magazine papers (photos 3 and 4).

    With the papers cut and put aside, Tiger started to paint the background of the canvas board with acrylic paint.

    The cut-outs were glued on using a matt medium (which acts like a strong form of watery glue).  After that was done, Tiger did some touch ups on the board to blend the colours more and to make sure that there were no white spaces left on the board.

    Somewhere along the lines, he discovered that he could paint with a palette knife, which he has been using for colour mixing, so he gave that a try as well.


    Lab 45: Acrylic and Ink Abstracts was the final project we did.  It started with Tiger dropping a few drops of diluted Indian ink using a pipette onto a canvas board, then blowing them around with a straw to create criss-crossing lines.

    While the ink was drying, I asked Tiger to look at the lines and shapes created on the board, to decide what colours felt right to be used.  He then proceeded to mixing the colours that he wanted to use for the abstract shapes that he had identified.

    Acrylic paint was applied to the canvas board to 'draw out' the shapes that Tiger wanted.  After the initial shapes were drawn out, we spent a little bit of time discussing whether to leave the abstract painting as it was, or whether to use the Indian ink to draw the outlines of the shapes to make them 'pop'. 

    Tiger decided that he wanted to use the ink for outline.

    This concludes our Art Summer School where we have done exercises on:

    This post is linked up to:
    1. Virtual Refrigerator - Refrigerator Art
    2. Hobbies and Handicrafts - Aug 16
    3. Collage Friday - Hitting Our Stride and a Field Trip
    4. TGIF Linky Party #90
    5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One at the End of the First Six Weeks
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 17, 2013}
    7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/20/13

    Tuesday, 13 August 2013

    Art Summer School: Paper

    In the paper section, I wanted Tiger to do more than one activity so I started out with what I thought would be the easiest of all: Lab 35: Paper Masks.

    The instructions in the book are very straightforward so Tiger got on with folding, cutting and gluing.  He wanted to jump straight into his own design right from the start but as I told him to try out the instructions from the book first, he reluctantly agreed.

    "This is how I feel when my Mum asks me to do something."

    After Tiger has completed the above, he asked, "Can I do it my way now?"  Of course he could.  The result of a voluntary effort is as follows:

    "This is how I feel when I get to do what I want."

    Comparing the two masks, it is quite clear that my son does not hide how he feels about being coerced into doing something when he has his own ideas of what he wants to do.

    Things got more interesting from here.

    After a short break, we moved on to Lab 34: Collage Tissue Self-Portraits.   I placed a mirror in front of Tiger and asked him to draw a self-portrait in pencil, which was to be used as a template for collage later.

    I then laid out pieces of craft tissues for him to choose and asked him whether he needed any help.  He said no so I left him to complete his work and went into the kitchen to start cooking dinner.

    After 10 minutes, Tiger said he has completed the collage.  I took a look and saw this:


    Nobody would have guessed that this is the work of a boy who, until 18 months ago, had such strong perfectionist tendencies that he would not even start a piece of work if he decided that he could not get it "right" (whatever "right" means) within 10 seconds.  It took us many years of constantly working through different situations for him to not throw his arms up in the air and storm away from something deemed "too difficult" at the first glance.

    Now it's time for a different type of conversation.

    Mum:  Is this completed?
    Tiger:  Yes.  What do you think?
    Mum:  Hmm... What do you think?
    Tiger:  I think it's fine.
    Mum:  Are you happy with it?
    Tiger:  Yes, I think it's ok.  What do you think?
    Mum:  Well... if this has been submitted by a three-year-old I would have said the work is excellent, but it doesn't make the cut as a piece of work done by an eight-year-old.  I have seen better work from you.
    Tiger:  I think it is ok.
    Mum:  There is a huge difference between doing an ok job and doing your best.  Is this your best?
    Tiger:  I think it's just fine.
    Mum:  (starting to walk back into the kitchen) Ok, it is your work and it has your name on it.  If this is the level of work that you're happy to be associated with, then that's fine.  Remember to clear the table when you're done.

    Tiger sat in his seat for a few moments after our conversation, then came into the kitchen.

    Tiger:  I think I'll do the exercise again.
    Mum:  Good decision.  I would have done the same.
    Tiger:  How much time do I have?
    Mum:  Take as long as you like.  Daddy will be home in an hour.

    Tiger said he didn't need any help, so I continued to cook dinner while he went back to the table and restarted the exercise from scratch.

    This is the result of his second attempt:

    This incident is one reason why I am glad I am doing the art summer school in-house.  If I have paid for Tiger to attend an external art summer school for children, he could have gotten away with submitting the first piece of collage because most children's art teachers are far too polite to give any genuine feedback on children's work.  In all the external art classes that Tiger has taken, no one has ever made any real comments about his work.  All I've only ever heard was the term "wonderful" used to describe his art work.  Really?  Is every piece of my son's art work "wonderful"?  Isn't that just being as politically correct as describing someone as "nice"?

    Being a parent myself, I understand how difficult it can be for parents to listen to any criticism of their children or of their work.  Therefore I am very glad that homeschooling has given me the opportunity to gain an intimate understanding of Tiger's abilities and weaknesses, so that I am able to respond to them accordingly and to support him in a meaningful way.  In other words, to know the right buttons to push at the right moment.

    You can read all about our in -house Art Summer School series here.

    Monday, 12 August 2013

    Art Summer School: Printmaking

    With printmaking, we opted to do Lab 24: String Printing.  It really is one of the easiest activities to set up.

    I diluted primary colours of the acylic ink in a plastic container, put one piece of cotton string in each, and let Tiger use the strings to create prints on A2-sized watercolour paper.  In order to prevent the ink from mixing up in the containers after each string has been used on paper, I had to wash each string after each application.

    Tiger found 'drawing' with strings to be an interesting exercise so he went on to create three pieces at a go.

    I wanted Tiger to experience more than one type of printmaking, so when I heard that an artist friend was doing a demonstration of monotype printing, I asked whether we could go along and he said yes!  That worked very well to coincide with Lab 26: Monotypes, and saved me from having to set it all up.

    The basic process is actually very straightforward:
    1. Begin by spreading a few dots of printing ink onto the plexiglas then use a brayer to spread the paint evenly on the surface (photo 1).
    2. Place a piece of drawing paper gently over the suface and use a pencil to draw (photo 2).
    3. When you are happy with your drawing (photo 3), lift the paper up carefully and turn it over.
    4. Your print is on the other side of the paper (photo 4).
    Tiger then repeated the process using the same sheet of plexiglas and paper but using a different coloured ink this time.

    And another go....

    Finally, Tiger tried to create two different prints using the same layer of ink on plexiglas.

    The first one (top print) was done in the usual way.  The second one (bottom print) was done with another sheet of paper but without reapplying the ink.  It is interesting to see how differently both prints have turned out simply with a slight variation to the process.

    You can read all about our in-house Art Summer School series here.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. Virtual Refrigerator: Phineas and Ferb 
    2. Hobbies and Handicrafts - Aug 16
    3. Collage Friday - Hitting Our Stride and a Field Trip
    4. TGIF Linky Party #90
    5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One at the End of the First Six Weeks
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 17, 2013}
    7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/20/13

    Friday, 9 August 2013

    Art Summer School: Painting

    The second part of the art summer school has to do with painting. We did Lab 11: Painting in the Style of... from Art Lab for Kids.  The example given in the book was that of Georgia O'Keeffe but we decided that we wanted to do Picasso, mainly because we had been to see two exhibitions recently.  The first was of his prints, The Vollard Suite, a while ago.

    The second, and more relevant to the painting exercise that we will be doing, was the Becoming Picasso exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery.

    The year 1901 was pivotal for Picasso as he was emerging from being an art student to cementing his position as a master in the art world.  At this point, his style had not yet evolved into that of a Cubist, which most of us are very familiar with.  It was still quite traditional in a sense but we can certainly see his personal style emerging.

    We also read two books about Picasso, although they are probably more relevant for understanding his style in the later years but they are good for a biographical overview of his life.

    For our painting exercise, I asked Tiger to choose one of Picasso's paintings of the year 1901, which we had seen at the exhibition at Courtauld Gallery, to briefly talk about and to copy.  He chose to copy the Absinthe Drinker, saying that the colours and the posture of the model intrigued him.

    I set the table easel up with a canvas board.  Then I used a blu-tac to hold the postcard-sized copy of the Absinthe Drinker by the side of the canvas board.  Our previous contour drawing exercises came in handy since drawing the outline of the work using a pencil was to be the first step of this painting exercise.

    Once the outline was completed, it was time to paint with acrylic paints.  I wanted Tiger to mix his own colours so I told him to use a limited palette:
    • cadmium red
    • crimson
    • cobalt blue
    • ultramarine blue
    • cerulean blue
    • cadmium yellow
    • lemon yellow
    • titanium white
    • mars black
    Mixing colours and painting carefully took the most part of the day so we only managed to do one exercise from the painting section of the book.

    Next week we will continue with exercises on printmaking, paper, and mixed media.  You can read all about our Art Summer School here.

    This post is linked up to:
    1. Virtual Refrigerator: Phineas and Ferb
    2. Hobbies and Handicrafts - August 9
    3. Collage Friday - Braces and First Days of School
    4. TGIF Linky Party #89
    5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where We Did Stuff
    6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 10, 2013}

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