Picture studies play an important role in Charlotte Mason’s approach to art education. Simply Charlotte Mason has put together ten Picture Study Portfolios that each include a book (with about 26 pages) and eight 8”x10” prints.
The book has a four or five page biography of the featured artist that is "family friendly," omitting the sometimes unsavory details of the lives of some artists. This is followed by a page on each of the art prints included in the set. Each page provides details about the work and few “leading thoughts” that will help you discuss the work with your child(ren).
Following Mason’s ideas, you spend only about 15 to 20 minutes per week on art study. The picture that is studied should then be left visible in the home so that students become very familiar with them. Following this leisurely approach, you will probably study only about six works of art by a single artist per semester. The Picture Study Portfolios include eight works so that you may choose those you prefer, but you can study all of them if you wish.
The ten Portfolios feature the artists: Botticelli, Constable, Durer, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Eyck, and Velazquez. They might be studied in any order you wish.
The Portfolios are available as printed kits or as downloads. This is a situation where the printed kits make more sense because it is much easier to study a print on paper rather than on a computer screen. These prints have high resolution and are printed on heavy cardstock, beautiful enough to frame. The high resolution is also important for observing details of the paintings that might easily be missed on a computer screen.