Settle down with the kids and look at a large print of the piece of artwork you are studying. Then ask, "What do you see in this picture?" Some responses my kids gave to this picture were ~
- "The boy looks shocked."
- "I don't like the green carpet."
- "He is making a mess."
- "He should not be in his Dad's drawer."
- "Why are there marbles (actually moth balls) on the floor?"
- "I guess he knows Santa isn't real now."
I often leave a picture up for a few days after our first look at it and then do it again. The second time we sit down to discuss it, we often start creating stories about the picture. My kids have some wild imaginations! However, they tend to remember tiny details. For example, just now, long after this picture study, my son looked over my shoulder and reminded me that I STILL have not gotten moth falls for them to smell. LOL!
Some of my favorite resources for learning how to do a guided picture study are listed below.
The book, Discover Great Paintings, asks great questions and pulls details out of the picture so a young child can easily see them.
Once children are more experienced in looking at art, I find The Art Fraud and The Great Art Scandal to be wonderful adventure stories to do with the kids. Each book has about 35 famous paintings to study and has wonderful mysteries to solve. We will be working our way through The Art Fraud for the rest of this school year.
For the older student, Great Artists Explained is a great book to learn more about picture study and artists. I used this book when my oldest son was over 12.
I suggest finding 8x10 prints or larger of the paintings you are studying. I am very pleased with the Rizzoli Art Series. The prints are large and they cover many of the most famous paintings from a particular artist. Unfortunately they are expensive on Amazon. So I have kept an eye out for them at used books sales and homeschool stores and found them for much less.