Yesterday I mentioned Quentin Blake's book, Tell Me a Picture, and said it would be a fun way to talk about art with kids. Today I came across another one I will be passing on to our home school group:
In fact, if I was home schooling right now, I might just use this book as my entire curriculum.
Here you will learn how to make great art with this fully-illustrated collection of fun and informative lessons. Follow the five professors as they work together to deliver 40 demonstrations - each one accompanied by a guided activity for you to try at home - to help you to understand the basics of art and design, including composition, color, line, shape, and perspective.
Art is NOT my thing. I like to 'make stuff', and I find some things more aesthetically pleasing than others, but I'm mostly a wabi sabi kind of person. I have never seen a painting I would actually care to spend money on, and as far as teaching the basic concepts of art, I would be lost. This book, I think, would give me enough of a structure while still having fun that I might actually attempt it!
The five professors mentioned have their own titles - the Professor of Ideas, encouraging imagination; the Professor of Form, who helps get that imagination down in something concrete; the Professor of Senses, who feels art should be an experience; the Professor of Making, who carries out the Professor of Form's plans with a variety of materials; and the Professor of the Planet, who asks how art can make people's lives better.
Lessons are short (1 or 2 pages), simple and entertaining. There are quick activities to do around the house, and bigger art projects (a couple are supposed to be done in the book, but can just as easily be done on your own paper - please don't do them in the library book.) Throughout the lessons, the professors' personalities come out quite nicely, making this read almost like a fiction book in places. I think even a child who was resistant to the very idea of art lessons would find it quite palatable.
This one is offered by Wide Eyed Editions, a somewhat smaller publisher I have been coming to enjoy (see yesterday's Creaturepedia).