While researching resources for our study of the Renaissance and the artists of that period, I came across some amazing resources for our art studies. Here they are to share:
The first is called Smarthistory, a multimedia art history textbook - it includes unscripted conversations between art historians on the pieces of art and the history of art. It is an absolute gem and I can't even begin to describe how excited I am at finding this resource. They even have sample curricula and resources you can use to teach art using video and text from their site. We watched this illuminating video on The Pieta today. It added so much depth to our art appreciation. Love this!
The other wonderful discovery I made was the Art Project by google. This is another awesome resource that lets you visit many of the world's art museums, virtually walking along their corridors and looking at their paintings and sculptures. It also allows you to get up really close to a painting and observe the most minute details with amazing clarity. In fact, one can probably get closer to these paintings on google than you can in real life! You can get a fuller explanation of how to use it from these youtube videos.
Another resource that I recently purchased and cannot wait to use with my kids is Smart Art: Learning to Classify and Critique art.Essentially, it is a workbook that takes the student through the different elements of art and design and gives them tools to learn how to analyse and look at art. You can read a full review at Jimmie's Collage.
Something else my girls love using and usually fight over, is a computer software programme called Creativity Express. You can check it out on their site which will allow you a free demo of one of their interactive activities. I believe I purchased my copy from Timberdoodle. It is an animated, interactive programme that is fun to use and takes you through the fundamentals of art history and design, as well as enhancing creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
This next site is a UK website called ArtisanCam, I haven't had a chance to explore it fully but the site gives one an insight into the lives and works of contemporary working artists - the site has videos where the artists talk about their work and you can also watch at work which is a fascinating process. There are lots of fun interactive activities to encourage children to inspire further learning. It really is a great resource for kids to see modern artists at work today. A multitude of different art forms are covered from photography, illustrations, ceramics, weaving, textiles, drawing to painting, animation and sculpture.
I am an Artist is a website for the younger ones which has activities and ideas to explore including clay, fabric, paint, construction and drawing. The site is appealing and easy to navigate with slideshows to engage the kids to think and then kid-friendly projects for them to build upon their new ideas.
Another interesting site which gives step by step design and drawing lessons - Artyfactory. Again, I haven't personally used it but have bookmarked it as a resource to come back to.
I hope that some of these resources will help you deepen your enjoyment in your art studies! Hopefully, time permitting, I will post more on our studies of the Renaissance and their artists and include my notebook and lapbook pieces.