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}


  1. I've recently been digging out information on Picasso to do an art lesson with the kids this fall. We have the same two books. I'm going to check out the video. Thanks for this.

  2. That's an amazing copy!! Great learning, as always!

  3. You're welcome, Julie. Just note that this exercise and the video relate to Picasso's early style rather than the cubist style which he is most famous for.

  4. Thank you, Claire. It's good enough for an eight-year-old. :-)

  5. Wow! *I* would be pleased to have painted Tiger's picture! So lovely that you allowed so much time for this project. I'm always surprised how long painting takes, but it's so satisfying mixing the exact right shade and seeing the work gradually coming together.
    This collection of posts is a wonderful contribution to the homeschool community - thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you, Lucinda. In terms of giving plenty of time to complete a project, I've always been in favour of completing a piece of work properly rather than rushing through it, so it's really fortunate that I am able to be flexible about time in a homeschool environment. :-)


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