Thursday, August 8, 2013

Making it Personal - the Book of Masterpieces

Teacup and Tempest really enjoy having their own Book of Masterpieces. I hype it as something very special, just for the students in the family. The Toddler can't wait to get her own when she starts school. After we study each full-sized painting, they each get an Art Card to add to their books. The books are on the open-access shelf where the kids can pull them down whenever they want to. As yet, they don't bring them down of their own initiative very often, but they do like to browse through all the pictures whenever we add a new one. I prefer to keep things simple, so we use a photo album that holds over 200 - 4x6" prints. By the time they graduate, each child's book will have all the pictures she has studied from kindergarten through 12th grade.

For the artist schedule we will be using, please visit Ambleside Art Study. In Term 1 we are scheduled to study John Singleton Copley, an American artist during the late Colonial/Revolutionary War period. After reading biographies of Washington and Franklin for months in Year 1, I am excited to spend some time with an artist from the same period. My card files are formatted as 4x6 photos. Right click on each image to save it, and then have it printed at any photo kiosk.* I like to have them printed on matte paper, which means I usually have to order online. If you prefer to print them three on a page, you can download that file here

I think my girls are going to be especially excited about this picture. One of their favorite books of all time is Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges.
December is going to have a Christmas focus, so this will be our picture for that month.

Have you ever heard of Artist Trading Cards? I have heard people mention them, but they never registered in my mind before now. Apparently the only rule is that they must be 2.5 x 3 inches. On that miniature canvass, you can let your imagination run wild! This year, I am making some sets of ATCs for the kids with the art study paintings.
Download Page 1
Download Page 2

I printed three sets so they can use them for games. So far I have thought of Memory Match, Go Fish, and letting them use them like flashcards if they choose to challenge themselves or each other. (Please not that I will not be doing any kind of parent-led identification challenge with them, but if they choose to use them that way, I won't stop them. Ultimately, our goal is for the kids to develop a familiarity with and love for art - not for them to memorize a list of paintings or artists.) I'll be interested to see what else the kids come up with. What would you use them for? Do you have anything fun planned for this year's art studies?

*If you want to use these for your family or group's study, download them with my blessings. It should go without saying, but please don't copy the files and pass them off as your own work, don't sell the files, and don't sell the prints. Basically, the Golden Rule still applies!


  1. Wow, these look great. I was thinking about giving my kiddos there own books this year and these will save me the task of formatting them myself.

  2. I wonder, is there a way to format the 4x6 on one page to send out to have printed??? I have 6 kiddos (4 kindy and up) so trying to save on printing cost, plus my home printer will not do these photos justice.... thoughts?

    1. The editing software that came with my camera will format my pictures into three-on-a-sheet pages. If you saved those as .pdf files, you could have them printed at a copy shop. You could also drag and drop them into a word or Photoshop document, save them as .pdf files, and send them out for printing.

    2. I went ahead and formatted them three to a page. The link is now in the blog post, if you still need it.

  3. These are wonderful. I just downloaded them and plan to use them this term. Thank you very much!

  4. I found it when I was looking for a different sort of information but I am very interested in the article, It is nice to read such kind of good posts I like your work keep it up!