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Discovering Great Artists: Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters

Discovering Great Artists: Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters

by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Kim Solga

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"Discovering Great Artists" has 75 great artists featured in 110 amazingly fun and unique quality art appreciation activities for children. They will experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from the Renaissance to the Present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting,


"Discovering Great Artists" has 75 great artists featured in 110 amazingly fun and unique quality art appreciation activities for children. They will experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from the Renaissance to the Present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more. Includes such greats as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, Matisse, Pollock, and O'Keeffe. 1998 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, 2002 Practical Homeschooling Reader Award. Full "click-to" resource guide at Bright Ring's website to show each artist's most famous works.

Some activity examples are:
Da Vinci - Invention Art
Michelangelo - Fresco Plaque
Rembrandt - Shadowy Faces
Monet - Dabble in Paint
Degas - Resist in Motion
Picasso- Fractured Friend
Van Gogh - Starry Night
Pollock - Action Splatter

1997 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, Education
2003 Practical Homeschooling Award, 3rd Place
2007 Practical Homeschooling Reader Award in the art appreciation category, 3rd place.
2009 Practical Homeschooling Reader Award in the art appreciation category,1st Place

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

""Discovering Great Artists" encourages children to know the great artists and their techniques through hands-on experience, to be inspired to read books, to visit museums, and to see the world in a new way. Children will encompass a greater sense of history and art appreciation, and see themselves in a grander scope of time."
~ MaryAnn Kohl, author and educator

""Discovering Great Artists" offers children the opportunity to explore a variety of artistic mediums including paint, chalk and pencil drawings, sculpture, photography and construction. Artists from the Renaissance to the present time are included, covering artistic styles such as cubism, abstract, cartoon, naturalism, impressionism and folk art. Activities are as diverse as the artists themselves, with Invention Art (Da Vinci), Action Spatter (Pollock), Starry night (Van Gogh), Colour Collage (Matisse) and Comic Dots (Lichtenstein). Instructions are clear and easy to understand. Materials are generally common art supplies easily accessed by teachers and parents."
~ Susan Whelan, Suite101

"100+ activities teach the styles, works, and techniques of the great masters - Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and more. To experience Van Gogh’s style, children mix paints into a thick substance called “impasto” and then paint with heavy, swirling brush strokes. Each activity contains a brief history of the artist, a project, and an example of that artist’s work. Discovering Great Artists is a great value for the money and belongs on every art shelf."
~ Rainbow Resource

"Students study artists from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to present day, and learn a variety of techniques and styles. The publisher, Bright RIng Publishing, provides links to full color examples of artwork by many of the artists that are featured in the book. Highly recommended."
~ Successful Homeschooling

"You have to get this book! It is jam packed full of great ideas - with 140 pages of information on great artists and projects representing them. Each artist’s section has a short biography which is what I have used for our Artist pages in our History Notebook. There are such original and fun projects demonstrating the style and materials used by the Artist of study. There are projects of ink, acrylic paints, watercolors, pastels, collage compositions, clay pieces, and just too much to mention."
~ Noggins and Nonsense

"Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters
110 amazingly fun and unique art activities for children to experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from Renaissance to the present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more!"
~ Classical Conversations

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This book features art projects for kids based on the styles and techniques of artists from the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe through to a selection of present day artists, cartoonists, and illustrators. These projects will likely spark a real interest in art history with a fun hands-on approach. The book is divided into chapters featuring artists from "Long, Long Ago" (a.k.a. the Renaissance), Impressionists and Postimpressionists, Abstract Artists, and Artists working today. Half the book is dedicated to Nineteenth Century artists and their art. It would have been nice to see more works by contemporary artists and even a few artists from prior to the Thirteenth Century in Europe. Perhaps a sampling of art from Africa, Asia, or South America would have been appropriate in our modern global village. The resource section and index is quite detailed and projects are classified by their level of difficulty.

Product Details

Bright Ring Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Bright Ideas for Learning (TM) Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.99(w) x 8.45(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
2 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


Discovering Great Artists offers children
hands-on activities to explore the styles
and techniques of the world’s greatest
artists. Each art process focuses on one
style and one artist. A brief biography and
portrait of each artist adds depth and
interest to the art project. The most
important aspects of the art projects are
discovery, exploration, and individual
creativity. The finished product will be an
indirect benefit.

Discovering Great Artists introduces
children to the great masters. Many great
artists will be familiar names, like
Michelangelo, da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt
and van Gogh. Other names will perhaps
be new, such as Arp, Nevelson, Hokusai, or
Paik. Each featured artist has a style that is
readily imitated and explored by children,
with a life history that will inspire or add
depth to the experience. Try one or try
them all!

Discovering Great Artists is a book of
exploring. Young children are usually most
interested in the process of art, not the
finished product, and may or may not
show interest in the associated art history
or art appreciation. Many will be curious
and can absorb as much as their interests
allow. Most older children will want to
know more about the artist’s life and how
it affected the artist’s style. No one is
required to learn the history of each artist
or the eras or movements they represent.
The information on each page is offered as
a source of reference and inspiration for
interested learners. Don’t be surprised if
children want to collect information about
different artists much the way they collect
baseball cards and statistics.

Discovering Great Artists encourages
children to learn by doing, to become
familiar with new ideas. If a child
experiences painting with the impasto
paint van Gogh used in his swirling,
expressive brushstrokes, then that child
will feel more comfortable and familiar as
an older student or adult studying van
Gogh. Imagine visiting a gallery in Paris
and seeing that same impasto style by van
Gogh in person! Many children have
expressed that it is like meeting an old

The most important thing for the child is
to explore new art ideas and techniques.
Above all, the activities are “open-ended”.
It is up to the child to decide exactly how
his or her work of art will turn out.
Independent thinking is encouraged, while
skills and responsibility are enhanced
through individual decisions.

Discovering Great Artists offers art
activities to expand the creative
experience and awareness of children in
all aspects of the visual arts through:
painting, drawing, printing, sculpture,
architecture, and other manipulations of art
materials. The activities in this book work
well for all ages and abilities, from the
most basic skill level to the most
challenging. Repeat projects often and see
new outcomes and learnings each time.

Discovering Great Artists encourages
children to expand their knowledge.
Getting to know great artists will inspire
children to read books, visit museums, go
to the library, collect information, and look
at the world in a new way. They will begin
to encompass a greater sense of history and
art appreciation and see themselves in the
scope of time. Perhaps they will be inspired
to carry art in their hearts as they grow and
develop. They are already great artists in
every sense of the word.


Resources for wonderful art materials are everywhere
you look – in libraries, in stores, in museum shops, in
catalogs, in the trash! Once you start looking, they will
seem to appear out of nowhere! Some are free while others
range from inexpensive to costly.

Books with colorful reproductions of artwork are readily
available at libraries and bookstores. Posters and prints of
famous artwork can be purchased from catalogs,
bookstores, museum shops, or checked out from most
libraries. Illustrations can be cut out of magazines and used
books, then mounted on cardboard to create small posters
and cards. Many videos and slide sets are available for
school and home use. The internet offers connections with
museums around the world, with thousands of great
paintings to view. Visits to museums, art galleries and the
studios of local artists, give children eyewitness, hands-on
experiences with works of art. Free brochures and catalogs
of expensive art prints can be cut apart and used in many
ways. The following resources for books, prints and other
art history materials are suggested. Contact all of them for
their free brochures and catalogs.

• Eyewritness Art, series
by Colin Wiggins
Over 10 books. Like having a private art gallery or
museum. Available on Perspective, Watercolor, Monet,
Manet, Goya, Renaissance, and more. Post
Impressionism is excellent.
Published by Dorling Kindersley, Inc., New York, NY
Look at other publications by Dorling Kindersley.
• The Famous Artists, series
Offers 8 excellent paperback books on famous artists,
including Miro, Da Vinci, Michelangelo. Many others.
Published by Barrons Education Series, Inc.,
Hauppauge, NY
• The First Impressions, series
Offers at least 17 titles developed especially for young
people (and old people who like things simple and
sweet!), with each artist’s own works and life story.
Titles include: Chagall, Cassatt, Frank Lloyd Wright,
Rembrandt, Wyeth. Many more.
Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY
• Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists, series
by Mike Venezia
Gives children a delightful glimpse into the lives of 13
different artists and their works.
Published by Children’s Press, Chicago, IL

Write to each supplier for a catalog, price, and availability.
Many of the catalogs will be sources for cut-and-paste activities
using prints of great art.

Prints, Posters, and Laminated Reproductions

• Art Extension Press, Box 389, Westport, CT 06881
Dover Publications (Print Portfolios), 31 East 2nd St.,
Mineola, NY 11501
• Parent Child Press (Art Prints for Children), PO Box 675,
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
• Shorewood Reproductions, 27 Glen Rd., Sandy Hook,
CT 06482
• University Prints, 21 East St., Winchester, MA 02890
Postcard Art Reproductions
• Abbeybille Press, Inc.,
488 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
• Dover Publications - see above
• Parent Child Press (Mommy, It’s A Renoir materials)
see books above
• Pavilion Books Limited,
196 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JL, England
• Running Press, 125 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Programs, Textbooks, Newsletters, and Other Books

• Art Image Publications, PO Box 568,
Champlain, NY 12919
• Art Media, Etc., 1905 Studebaker Pl.,
Gold River, CA 95670
• Bright Ideas for Learning, series, art activity books by
MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bright Ring Publishing, Inc.,
PO Box 31338, Bellingham, WA 98228-3338
• Crizmac, PO Box 65928, Tucson, AZ 85728
• KidsArt, art education booklets,
PO Box 274, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
• Dale Seymour, PO Box 10888, Palo Alto, CA 94303
• Davis Publications, 50 Portland St.,
Worcester, MA 01608
• Wilton Programs, PO Box 541, Wilton, CT 06897

Museum Reproductions

• Metropolitan Museum of Art, Special Services Office,
Middle Village, NY 11381
• Museum of Fine Arts, PO Box 1044, Boston, MA 02120
• Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St.,
New York, NY 10019
• National Gallery of Art, Publications Services,
2000 B. South Club Dr., Landover, MD 20785
• St. Louis Art Museum, Resource Center,
Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 63110-1380
• Whitney Museum of Art, 945 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10021
• museum gift stores
• all local art galleries and museums with art

• Museums and galleries around the world have sites on
the internet, with more added each month. This is a new
and changing medium. Our best recommendation is to
use a search option to find names of individual artists or
museums. These searches will yield the most current
information, and by following the links suggested, a
world of information and images will be discovered.

• The public library has the most to offer for children’s
curiosity, found both in the children’s and the adult
departments. Enjoy the discovery of searching for
materials to supplement Discovering Great Artists based
on the curiosity of each individual child.
• Free catalogs are available from museums and museum
shops, filled with reproductions of great art that can be
cut apart to your heart’s content!

Meet the Author

MaryAnn F. Kohl is the author of "First Art," "Preschool Art," "Scribble Art," "Mudworks," and 15+ other titles. Kim Solga is the editor or author of books in the Art and Activities for Kids series, including "Art Fun! "and "Craft Fun!" Kim produces the KidsArt magazine and catalogue.

Kohl and Solga also co-wrote "Great American Artists for Kids".
Series: Bright Ideas for Learning™

MaryAnn F. Kohl is currently (2013-2014) in her second term on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association.

• Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Kids in the Styles of the Great Masters (WITH SOLGA)
• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH SOLGA)
• Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators
• Scribble Art: Independent Creative Art Experiences for Children
• Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough & Modeling Experiences
• Mudworks Bilingual: same as Mudworks, in both Spanish & English ebook only
• ScienceArts: Discovering Science Through Art Experiences (with Potter)
• Good Earth Art: Environmental Art for Kids
• Preschool Art: It’s the Process, Not the Product
• First Art: Art for Toddlers and Two’s
• MathArts: Discovering Math Through Art Experiences
• Cooking Art: Edible Art for Kids
• Global Art: Activities, Projects, & Inventions from Around the Word
• Making Make-Believe: Props, Costumes & Creative Play Ideas
* Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun with Everyday Stuff

• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH KOHL)
• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH KOHL)
• Art Fun! (Art & Activities for Kids)
• Paint! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Craft Fun! (Art & Activities for Kids)
• Make Cards! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Draw! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Costumes!: For Creative Play (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Gifts! (Art & Activities)
• Make Clothes Fun! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Crafts! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Prints! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• One-Hour Nature Crafts (with J. Haynes)

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