renaissance art

at the end of each trimester, our kids have a home project due as a culmination of all they (we) learned.  last trimester we studied the renaissance, focusing on the artists.  each of the kids were supposed to choose one piece of art by a renaissance artist and recreate it however they choose – a sculpture could be a painting, a sketch could be a sculpture.

lily chose madonna del granduca, by raphael.  basically she chose it because it has a baby in it and she loves babies right now.  a little foresight would have told me to guide lily in the direction of an easier painting, but foresight i did not have.  lots of arguing went into this painting.  she really wanted it to look just like the original and was pretty heartbroken when it didn’t.  she also wanted to be done much faster than she was.  this was a very long process – days and days of sketching on the canvas using a grid and a little dot-to-dot, then layers of paint.

in the end, i think that it is amazing!  she wasn’t happy with her work until she got to school and realized that her work was similar to her friends’.  i can’t wait to find a place in our house to hang this!

gracie chose one of leonardo’s sketches of a horse to make into a sculpture.  she really wanted to use clay, but a sculpture this size would crack, so i convinced her to try paper mache.  we went to the local art store and talked through the process with someone there – how to build the armature (the wire under part) and how to make the paper mache.  sean built a base for her and then we worked on the wire to get a basic shape and stuffed it with newspaper.

paper mache recipe:

2 cups flour

2 cups water

1 tablespoon salt

mix together!  then use strips of newspaper in the glue mixture.

this is after the first layer of paper mache.   after this she bulked up the legs and head, added ears, etc.

she finished it off with a couple coats of bronze paint.  love it!

not to be left out, silas wanted to make some art too, so i busted out the water colors.  i love water colors because they require very little work on my part!  just the paints, a cup of water, a few brushes and some paper – so easy.

si was working on waves and i think it was some sort of fish above the waves?

his little hands are losing their pudge!

thank you to deco art for sending me a few new super fun colors!  now that the kids’ big projects are done, maybe i can get started on one of my own?!


  1. 1

    That horse is amazing, BRAVO!

  2. 2

    Both of those pieces are wonderful. Both of your girls should be very proud!

  3. 3

    SOOO super cool! i want my kids to go to your kids’ school!!

  4. 4

    Ok, as an art lover, let me just say that this is SO IMPRESSIVE. I’m so inspired by these pieces! And want to just come make art with you and your kids!!


  5. 5

    Love these! They are so talented and did SUCH a great job!! I’ve never even tried paper mache!!

    I am hoping to homeschool, so these are some of the things that I may work on at home with our kids in the future?! Looks fun!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. 6

    That horse is so incredible as is Lily’s drawing!! I wish I could draw like that!!

  7. 7

    These projects and the process photos make me smile. This is visual evidence of the dream of SLOCA coming true! Thanks for sharing your littles’ projects. Such wonderful creativity and demonstration of learning!

  8. 8

    Wow! Lindsey, they both did SUCH an amazing job. Love, love, love!!!

  9. 9

    Your kids did an awesome job!

  10. 10

    All of your kids’ artistic talents never fail to amaze! My first thought, though, how do we transport the horse to school without anything happening to it!

  11. 11

    Wow. I would BUY either one of those for my home! Just lovely :)

  12. 12

    Those are amazing!

  13. 13

    These projects are fantastic! They did an amazing job! And I really like your little boy ties in the previous post… so stinkin’ cute! :)

  14. 14

    Your girls are amazing!!!!

  15. 15

    So smart to store your paints upside down. I love that you can see the color easily too.

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