Sprouting Artists

In the past, our art studies have been more art appreciation, studying the great artists. This summer, I chose to make our music and art studies a little more practical. We’re not neglecting the greats, but we are doing a lot more of the creating for ourselves, rather than copying from others.

I snagged a discounted copy of Artistic Pursuits on ebay, and we’ve been working through a couple of the lessons each week. It combines picture study and some artist information while providing plenty of practical creating. We’ve been experimenting with different art media for the first time: watercolor, oil pastel, etc.

We’ve also supplemented with some youtube videos to help us with a few tips on how to use the medium we are working with.

My budding artists have loved the process.

oil pastel landscapes
oil pastel landscapes
Oldest's corn stalk
Oldest’s corn stalk
Middlest's flower
Middlest’s flower

With the oil pastels, we learned about smearing the wax from the pastels to blend the colors and scratching into the colors with a toothpick to add more texture. And as far as supplies, we’ve kept it cheap—a set of oil pastels for $4.99 at Walmart that we all share and a stack of newsprint paper from Hobby Lobby.

I love having them take art outside. Not only does it keep the mess to a minimum for me, but it gives them more fresh sunshine and the thrill of outdoor art.

In a way, I miss the intimate way we’ve gotten to know our artists in the past, but it has been fun to be a little less formal and a lot more creative.