Simple Art Study: Reynolds

Artist Study-Cezanne-homeschool-1

L13 is currently working her way through a simple study of the great artists.  She studies one artist per week and her goal is to learn one new technique with each study.  A couple of weeks ago she studied Sir Joshua Reynolds using the excellent and free art lessons from Concordia University:

Artist studies

The lesson, which I downloaded and printed out for her, is only two pages long.  L usually reads the lesson and we go through the questions together.  The first page focuses on the history of the artist:


whilst the second page focuses on the actual piece of art being studied, in this case ‘A Strawberry Girl’, along with lots of questions which guide the student to a greater appreciation of the painting:


Although there are many suggestions for art activities at the end of the second page, they are geared towards Grade 1, so L and I often come up with our own alternatives.  L chose to attempt to replicate the girl, focusing on how Reynolds created the light and dark:


I thought this was a hard project to do because of the light and dark, and the lack of any kind of contrasting colours, but L was looking forward to getting stuck in, drawing the figure of the girl beautifully:


She painted the girl in oils on canvas, and then, after struggling for a while to get the background right, chose to paint it black!


She finds painting humans, in particular their faces very difficult indeed, and I think she did a great job!  Practice makes perfect and soon, the more she paints the easier she will find them 🙂  Here is her final piece:

reynolds 2

As this was primarily a study in light and dark, we played around on Ribbet photo editing for fun, to see if we could learn a bit more:

reynolds 6

reynolds 3

reynolds 5

reynolds 4


Cool, eh?  It was a great study for L in terms of learning.  Next up, she will be studying Norman Rockwell.


  1. Great pictures and a really useful resource. We are running out of art books and this looks good for art appreciation.

  2. She is really coming along in her art. I love your posts on your children’s progress. I wish I could share my daughter’s art but she tends to hide it. I have bookmarked that site for future reference if my daughter is still into art in the years to come. It sounds quite interesting, and looks like mom doesn’t need to know much to help out 🙂

    Your daughter should be very happy with the result! Please let her know we enjoyed seeing it.

    1. Thank you, I will tell her. She wasn’t pleased with the result, but I just think practice, practice …it will start to get easier, the more she practices.

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