Picture study is one of the most constant things in our homeschool. We have done it the same way for quite a few years and I have never considered changing it. I forget where exactly I got the idea to do it this way-probably from a number of different places- but it's been a real hit with the kids and everyone is excited to do it-which is always nice, right?
Everyone has a photo album that holds 4 x 6 pictures. The older kids have albums with space on the side for writing details. We study one artist every six weeks or so. We move on when we have studied six of his prints. We usually use Discovering Great Artists to choose an artist. The kids take turns picking who we will study.
When picture study comes up on our schedule, one of the kids chooses a painting for us to study. I do a google search on the artist's name to find a website that has images of the paintings. Artchive is usually useful for this. After they have chosen a picture I save the image and print it out on 4 x 6 photo paper. The kids write the title and artist in their albums and add the picture. Everyone spends a few minutes looking at the picture. Then they close their albums and I look at the picture while they take turns telling me something they remember about it, youngest first. They usually come up with some pretty great observations! We might discuss a little bit about the artist and compare it to his other work.
Then we're done.
The following week, the next child will choose the painting. Four kids = four paintings. I choose the fifth. For the sixth everyone gets to choose their own and tell everyone about it.
Then we move on to the next artist!