Alfred Sisley in Perspective

Alfred Sisley 071

Image via Wikipedia

This month I introduced the children to Alfred Sisley, a famous Impressionist Artist.

We took a tour of his work on YouTube (with the famous French singer Edith Piaf singing in the background) and viewed more paintings in my Impressionist Painters book by Guy Jennings.

Sisley’s works are mostly landscapes and he often returned to the same place in different seasons to repaint these scenes. 

The children compared pictures of similar scenes. They wrote these details in their minibook and wrote Alfred Sisley’s biography on their notebook pages.  We put up our picture of Sisley and a small gallery strip on our wall chart.

Since Sisley’s paintings are so similar, we could quickly find some common elements in his style.     Most his landscapes had excellent perspective.

To show this, I placed a plastic page protector over the painting and used a whiteboard pen to draw the vanishing point, the horizon line and the painting division into thirds.

This was fun!  The children took turns outlining perspective on several paintings.  I think they really got it!

Because we observed and discussed his paintings at length, I felt we didn’t have to paint or “do”  any art, but my children wanted to paint the painting we studied.

I had prepared traced outlines for the children of Louveciennes, Road to Sevres, 1873 and Snow in Louveciennes, 1878 … for just in case … [smile]

Oops ~ I forgot ~ here’s a pdf of the outlines for you to download:

Art Sisley Outlines

I didn’t even sit with them as they painted, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how naturally they both mixed their paints to copy the grey-blues of his sky and copied his brush strokes and colours of the street and trees. Their paintings were just for them.

Sisley by Miss. K11

Sisley by Miss. L9

Once again, I encourage you to choose a quiet day to do your art appreciation with your children. 

You don’t even have to do all of this ~ just study 1 art work each week from one artist for about a month with the aim of noticing and appreciating that artist and his works.

Sonja Schafer of Simply Charlotte Mason demonstrates this in this video and describes how to do picture study here.  I love how she says that when we have looked at the painting in detail, we “hang it on our mental art gallery“!  She also tells the mom to “get out of the way” and let the child make the art work their own and “form their own relationship with the artist and his work”.

Once your children get used to this, you can add a little extra activity like adding a wall chart or biography page, and by and by, you’ll be doing more in-depth art appreciation lessons.


7 thoughts on “Alfred Sisley in Perspective

  1. Pingback: Visual Literacy – Milena Lakova

  2. Pingback: Intimate Impressionism - Alfred Sisley | Harmony Fine ArtsHarmony Fine Arts

  3. Your last 4 paragraphs are particularly helpful… I think they will kick me from the place of ‘we should do art appreciation’ to the place where we can begin simply and add activities as we need to.
    Thank you! Once again 🙂


  4. I was wondering if you just put tracing paper over the picture to trace it for them and then copy it onto regular paper, trace it and they paint it on tracing paper or you are just able to copy it freehand? I am not very artistic so I am wondering about doing this for my son. You have such wonderful things that you share. I really apreciate it. My son and I are using all of your artist and musician items.
    Thank you


    • @Lori, yes, I just lay the tracing paper over the picture and draw the basic lines. Then I photocopy and enlarge (if necessary) the picture. Sometimes my children trace the picture they like!


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