Over the years, we have done a fair amount of art history and art appreciation through picture study. One thing we have not done much of is art production or art technique. Granted we do little seasonal projects and include drawings with (or in place of) narrations, even a fair amount of exploration of different materials, but not a lot of actual learning about colors and lines and different ways to make a picture.
We have been ordering some of our language materials from Catholic Heritage Curriculum for awhile and this winter I looked a little deeper into some of the supplemental areas. For each grade, they offer an ArtPac. There are 8 levels, but I decided since none of the kids have had any art production type experience it would be something fun to do together so I bought 3 of the 1st grade book (For a PreK/K, 2nd, & 4th).
Obviously each of the kids has different strengths with this approach and I can see differences in their work, but I have been pleasantly surprised how well they work together. It has really been an opportunity to learn together something that was new for everyone. We have been practicing complimenting each other's work and I'm hearing more positive comments in general from the entire group (even outside of art).
Although the primary material needed for ArtPac 1 is crayons, I have incorporated a few other things where appropriate, such as oil pastels. While crayons can be blended, the oil pastels blend much more cleanly and for some projects (such as the sunsets we are working on in these photos) they make sense. I generally pick up this sort of material from Discount School Supply. (I also buy all of my construction paper and glue from DSS, because lets be honest with 4 now doing projects we use it fast enough to justify the bulk purchases!)
I hesitated to use a prepackaged curriculum like this for art, because I worried it would focus on product more than process, but I think these pictures clearly show the opposite. In learning technique there is still plenty of room for individual variation and choice. Plus the kids are proud of having neatly finished projects, something that rarely happened when I only did open ended art projects. (Not them being proud of their work, but being neat and taking their time....not something my boys have previously highly valued.)
Logan likes to color on paper while we do art, but Lucie just likes to be cute. She especially enjoys eating triangles.
We have some exciting news to share soon, which is part of the reason for my sporadic blogging behavior. We know some changes are coming we just aren't exactly sure which ones yet. I will definitely be back the minute I know for sure! Either way, the changes should give me more time to return to blogging as I have in the past.