Leonardo Baby Sketches

English: Studies of Embryos by Leonardo da Vin...

My family were keen to do another Leonardo-inspired art activity after last week’s enjoyable Leonardo Pastel Portrait lesson ~

Leonardo da Vinci Baby Sketches

I tailor-made this lesson according to each one’s requests … printing out the specific size and copies of Leonardo’s baby sketches ~ here are your free copies ~ Leonardo da Vinci baby sketches

(Please note ~ approach this lesson with sensitivity – some children may find the idea that Leonardo da Vinci’s sketched and made notes of these baby sketches from cadavers rather disturbing.)

  • We looked at some examples of Leonardo’s baby sketchbook examples in our art book and online.
  • I used theses images and created black & white images using MS Word.
  • I enlarged specific sketches to print out for each artist.
  • We used a large A3-sized page for the collage, but normal printer-sized pages for the printouts.
  • We tore away the white edges around the large sketches and glued them collage-style with the rest of Leonardo’s special mirror-image handwritten notes as the background. Leonardo da Vinic baby sketches
  • Then we shaded over the entire page with yellows and oranges and browns and blended it in.  The torn edges ‘absorbed’ more pastel, making them darker.
  • Focusing just on one baby or the larger sketches we used our pastels to shade and highlight the baby’s contours.Leonardo da Vinic baby sketches1
  • Without working it too much, we were finished fairly quickly.
  • A spray of fixative and we were done!
  • A easy lesson with satisfying results!

Leonardo da Vinic baby sketches2

Here are some comments my kids made as we were clearing the table ~

I like these sketches.  They don’t have to be finished, so there is no pressure to do the entire page.”

“I love the pastels.  They work to cover a large area quickly and they can mix and blend to make smooth shading.”

“I love to put more pastel over the mistakes.  It is completely hidden, so I am not afraid if it doesn’t look right.  I can keep trying until it works out.”

For me, my older children joining me is an answer to prayer.  For almost 2 years, they have declined to do most our art lessons.  Maybe I should have tried chalk pastels long ago?

And yet, this week my youngest declined … she didn’t really enjoy last week’s lesson and felt rather insecure.  No pressure.  I’m sure we’ll find something she will be happy to join us next week!



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