A lot has been said about Picture Study by other Charlotte Mason followers - enough that I feel at the moment that there isn't much to say. Pick an artist, select 6 pictures, and study them for a half a term. Study one picture a week. If possible, get a good sized version of the picture for the family to look at - and if possible get or print picture (snap-shot) sized versions for each child to keep in their "Book of Masterpieces"
The "Higher Up and Further In" blog has a good write-up on how to do this.
Another post on "Higher Up and Further In" mentions that it is important to pick artists that the child is likely to like for a child's first exposure to picture study. Pictures with action in them for boys can make a big difference.
Once you have your children enjoying picture study, if you need suggestions for artists and pictures to study, you can join the Art Schedule of Ambleside Online - but remember that you do not have to be bound by their schedule.
2009/10 Selections. This year, I am alternating the AO selections, and selections that I chose. This year. In general, I intend to include each year a Canadian Artist, an artist that specializes in Nature, and a religious artist. This year, the Canadian Artist also specializes in Nature, so I selected Norman Rockwell for an artist, as his Scouting pictures, as well as his scenes from life have always intruged me.
- Robert Bateman. (Famous Canadian Nature artist.) - note that his pictures will NOT be in the public domain, so I recommend getting a good book from the library.
- Raphael Sanzio (Italian Renaissance)
- Norman Rockwell (Famous American Illustrator) - also pictures are NOT in public domain.
- John Singer Sargent (American)
- Claude Monet (French Impressionist)
I have not picked out all the artists yet for the 2009/2010 year.... I want to find some good exciting pictures for the first artist - and I plan to include Robert Bateman (a Canadian artist that shows nature), and Norman Rockwell. These are more recent artists, so I may have to deal with copyright issues.... but I think these artists will be worth it to start a love of Picture Study.
[update - the artists have been selected for 2009/2010]
Although we are not following the Ambleside Online Schedule for artists, there are a few Yahoo groups that have the pictures for their study available. It is worth joining these groups and checking there for the artists we are doing first when looking for pictures. (The first 2 have the pictures for 8.5 x 11. The other groups have the pictures in smaller sizes for albums or card games. Note that pictures are sometimes cropped to fit the size)