Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Art History with kids

We're doing a survey of Art History in our homeschool - today's lesson featured Greek art. For me, it was a challenge to condense hundreds of years of stylistic development into a 30 min lesson, but I think we covered the main points. The biggest hurdle was finding examples of art to show the kids that weren't nudes. With maturity, I think study of such artwork is legit given a proper understanding of the artist's worldview, but for the 7-13 yr olds I think it's wise to discuss that humanist view before exposing them to it. Every lesson we talk about the artist(s)' view of God, and their view of Man as shown through their work. This makes interpreting and responding to the art easier to do....unlike the modern response of "how does it make you feel."

But I digress...... a big part of our study today was the black-figure and red-figure kraters and amphora. The kids saw the development from the Geometric period up through the much more developed high point of Greek culture. We laughed at the "apple core figures" and marveled at the details that went into portraying the drapery on later pieces.

And then we made our own amphora - using a scratchboard technique. This was a simple project, using only paper and crayons. A heavy layer of red/orange was put down, then the kids colored solid black over that. They could easily "scratch" away their designs using a toothpick. I think the results are great!

Some decided to create their own mythological scenes.

Others were inspired by the geometric figures and designs (with a Lego snake thrown in for good measure)

It's so much fun to see the different ways kids approach a project - some slowly and carefully, others with great vivacity. Each personality really shines through. 

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