Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Artist Study Rosa Bonheur

Continuing our art lessons this month we completed an artist study of Rosa Bonheur.  I will admit I didn't know much about this artist so I relied on the Meet the Masters program to fill us in on her history and art work.  Rosa Bonheur was born in 1857 in France.  She loved to dress in men's clothing and needed to get a permit from the police in order to be seen in public in mens clothing.  The permit was issued for health reasons by her doctor.  She wore men's clothing because the majority of art work she did was on animals and she studied the anatomy and movement of cows, she saw at cattle fairs.  She was also visited slaughter and butcher shops and these places were not known for allowing women in.  By wearing men's clothing and keeping her hair cropped Rosa Bonheur was able to enter these establishments virtually unnoticed to complete her work.

The assignment was a challenge as the children and I were needing to draw a picture of a dog free hand.  The method introduced this week was taking a black and white drawing and splitting it in half...

and using that as our drawing guide.

Next we used oil pastels to color it in using many colors to add texture and depth to our drawings.

Firedrakes drawing

MarioFan's drawing-- he has come a long way with his drawing abilities since starting this program.  I remember days when he became very frustrated at the though of free drawing anything.  I only assisted a tiny bit on the ears.

My version -- it is the only one that doesn't look like a dog-- I think it looks more like a mountain lion.

I always do these art lesson with my kids to show an example and also so they see my struggles with some of the drawing techniques.  This helps them to know it doesn't have to be perfect but you have to try and you might be surprised how it turns out.  We are continuing to enjoy these lessons.


  1. I wasn't aware of Rosa Bonheur and I am an art major (I'm actually a media major, but it was considered art back then). She sounds fascinating!

  2. Great drawings!! Hannah loves art, i should really do more with her. It's so great that you do the art alongside your children, and really, your dog is only a little mountain lionesque - mine would have looked like a cartoon box lol!

  3. They did really well, great to study an artist and have a go like this

  4. I think they turned out really well. So, I'm gonna say: great job on it!

  5. That was such an interesting story about the artist. I love how you work with the children and do the art with them. They are certainly becoming budding artists along with you.