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This will be our third project from The Usborne Art Treasury book. We love this book because the projects turn out to be colorful, unique artwork that you’ll want to hang on your wall. They’re so much fun to do.

Of course after finishing, Satori did want to frame it, but we ended up with a project that wouldn’t be framed easily.

We wanted to do their Monet project, so we started out with a review on who Monet was. Satori already knew this through our Meet the Masters lesson we just did, so she was anxious to get to the actual project.

The Monet art project of the book was “Layered Lilies” using tissue paper. The book gave sufficient instructions as well as a colorful visual to see how it might turn out.

Tearing tissue paper into narrow strips was easier than I anticipated, as long as you tear just one layer at a time. Within ten minutes, we were swimming in a sea of cool blues.

We then took our glue sticks and glued the strips of tissue paper to make the watery pond. We layered them on to simulate Monet’s layers of colored paint.

Had we followed the book directions, we were supposed to get our lilypad and flower circles by tearing them around a glass jar bottom, but that didn’t work for us. Neither did a paper puncher. So I just cut circles to make our lilypads and flowers. Satori glued them on.

And here’s our finished “Layered Lilies”!

We had an enjoyable month studying our first artist Vincent van Gogh. I’m so glad Meet the Masters used van Gogh as the first unit and introduction to the artists, we all really loved learning about him. So today we re-read our books on van Gogh.

We did another art project in The Usborne Art Treasury, the first one called “Swirly Landscape”.

For this we used acrylic paints mixed with white glue so we could really gob the paint on to get some texture. We used a spoon to etch some grass and swirls in.

After it dried, we could see a bit of texture, although not as much as some of Vincent’s paintings. He really must have went through a lot of paint!

And just like van Gogh, Satori signed only her first name.

Next the family each chose a coloring page out of Color Your Own Van Gogh Paintings coloring book. We had a sample print of his to copy if we wanted, and then we took various markers to try to replicate it. Coloring is such a relaxing activity, I love it.

Mom printed off a bunch of prints for our next artist study. Can anyone guess who it might be?

And just for kicks, Mama spent the entire night last night compiling a list of top 100 famous artists. This was awfully hard to do as there’s thousands of wonderful artists, but I mostly took the artists most commonly found in children’s art books and on various artist lists for children to study and came up with a top one hundred. I added a few modern-day artists that might not be found in many art books. The closer to the top, the more popular an artist is. And the top artist was Vincent van Gogh! Other popular ones are Da Vinci, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt, all of which we’ll be covering in our art appreciation studies.

Now that we have a little art corner in our main room, what we needed next was a little something to brighten it up!

Using The Usborne Art Treasury, we replicated Kandinsky’s “Squares with Concentric Circles” painting. Page 53 shows the original artwork, with the opposite page describing a bit about Kandinsky and color. The next two pages walk you through making your own color contrasts artwork.

We used oil pastels for the circles and watercolor for the squares. The oil pastels show through the paint.

While most of the time I want Satori to concentrate on her own very original artwork, without copying step-by-step instructions, this book is still so much fun and has so many colorful projects.

A year ago we did another project from this book – “The Aquarium”.

After we whizzed through the “f” section in Explode the Code, we did an art project about FISH (hey it starts with “F”). We took this idea out of our new Usborne Art Treasury book. We are going to be doing many art projects during the week, and normally I want them to be all her own and not just “copying” another artwork, but this was too irresistible. This is based after Paul Klee’s “The Goldfish”. In his painting, the fish absolutely glows in the dark murky water and commands your attention. So we tried it ourselves… Mama sketched the fish, Satori colored it all in with oil pastels…

0908-fish-painting-001

Then she brushed over it all with dark blue/purple watercolors. As you can see, the watercolors “beaded up” on the colorful oil pastel parts!

watercolor over oil pastel

watercolor over oil pastel

And our finished artwork. Satori dubbed it “The Aquarium”.

Satori's Aquarium

Satori's Aquarium

Mom did get carried away with the watercolor and didn’t dilute with water enough, so we ended up having to brush it up to soak up some of the paint to have the fish show through. I think it would have turned out perfect if we diluted the watercolor more with water, but we learn something everyday. I kinda like the swooshes we made when we brushed it up, it looks like water currents!