Art with Kids {Leonardo da Vinci}

First, I want to thank all of you that participated in the Embrace the Camera challenge last week. If you get a chance, you should scan through the Instagram hashtag – so many beautiful images shared. It was really fun to see so many pictures of you all with the ones you love and doing the things you love. Thank you for being a part of it! My last picture for the challenge was with my 7 year old. I told him I need a picture of “faces”. We were next to each other trying to make similar faces, then he said, “I bet you can’t make this face mom. You have too many teeth!”

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Four little artists working and one little toddler downing a smoothie. This is a very every day moment around here….lots of smoothies, that is.

The kids and I spent a little time talking about Leonardo da Vinci last week. We talked about several of his inventions and works of art. Back in my art class days, I remember my art teacher sharing with my class The Last Supper. Then she had us each create our own version of the masterpiece with different characters. The kids and I talked a lot about the original and some of da Vinci’s story behind its creation.


Then we talked about how many of the most iconic works of art are often replicated in a new and different way.ย  They know the Biblical story represented in da Vinci’s The Last Supper. After we talked about the significance of the painting, we stepped away from that to simply make art. The kids took da Vinci’s painting as inspiration to create a similar drawing of guests at a dinner table. They really had a great time with it, so if you are looking for a random art project to do with yours kids….mine soaked this one up.


She is usually in and out of her seat and then in and out of the lockers.


She said she wanted to make her’s exactly like the original. I love her little mind.


He used the characters from Super Mario Brothers.


And naturally, this guy’s was a flock of birds outside at a table. His creativity with this made me a little giddy.


And my oldest chose to have 7 people and six fictional characters.


I want art to become personal and alive for my kids. This week we are going to tap on another old art class project….taping paper to the underside of a table to draw while we talk about Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. My art teacher had us actually paint laying on our backs. I think I’ll stick to markers and non-dripping mediums!

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  • danielle - I love the idea of taping paper underneath the table! We have not really studied art much although we have talked about those two artist. I will have to file this idea away for when we come to him again!

  • stephanie - Love the idea to draw their version of the last supper. I’m totally stealing that! : ) We did the paper under the table project last year as part of our homeschool tutorial and my kids LOVED it!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Oh my gosh! You are killing me with the last supper as birds! All of these really- so great!
    We have been using the Artist Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason this year. It’s our first time and they are really great!

  • Tammy - This is awesome! I LOVE the idea of laying under the table to paint like Michaelangelo!!!! Mine are only 1 and 3, but I am pinning this idea to remember when they are a bit bigger!!!!

  • noel@tibaultandtoad - I love the bird with the “Jesus sash!” Also, we haven’t started homeschooling yet (my oldest is not quite 3) but I’ll be filing away the idea of taping paper under the table!

  • kimberly oyler - the birds! so precious. i think his trees are better than mine.

  • Jenny - are you by chance using Mystery of History curriculum? We are and this is exactly what we have been doing too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Emily - This is such a great project! What are you doing with their art as they finish it?

  • Raeanne - I’m going to steal your art ideas for our homeschool stuff this week and next! We’re looking at the Renaissance this week and da Vinci along with the other guys, so your art projects will be perfect! Thanks for the ideas!

  • Mara - I just LOVED this post! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea. There are few things that I enjoy more than creating art with my children. Your little ones may enjoy a recent activity I did with my kids based on a children’s Caldecott award winner:

    Thank you again for the embrace the camera inspiration last week. Im so grateful to have created some tangible childhood memories for my children. Much love.

  • marcy - It’s so sad how lazy we are with committing to art in our day. By the time math, science and english are done we’re toast!
    I’ll have to remember this one!

  • Natalie Lacy Lange - The only thing better than creating something myself is seeing how excited my son is when he creates something! I love that you’re fostering a love for art with your children.

    Also, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the “Embrace the Camera” challenge. What I loved the most was scrolling through everyone’s pictures and realizing how alike we all are. At a time when our country and our world seems so divided on so many things, it was refreshing to just see how much we all have in common–a bunch of moms that love their kids and the crazy everyday moments that weave our stories together. So, thank you. Seeing that encouraged me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kelsey - It sounds like you had an AWESOME art teacher. What great ideas! I bet his or her classes really remembered this stuff – obviously you did! And I love how this project works for all different ages. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Yes. I’d like to sign up for your art class. That is all ๐Ÿ™‚

  • amanda - the imagination of children is a wonder to behold!

    I think both art project ideas are cool, will love to see the Michelangelo inspired piece!

    One of my favorite tid bits about Michelangelo is that he wasn’t a particularly ambitious painter before he did the Sistine Chapel. His commission of the chapel ceiling was supposedly the result of a jealous rival trying to make him look bad. Michelangelo rose to the challenge and left us with one of the most magnificent artworks of all time (in my opinion anyway lol)

  • Erica - Such great ideas! I love Kid Art and the peek inside their brains that it provides!

  • - Oh, I love the idea of taping under the table. Going to steal that one from you. Each one of the great works of art in the post are absolutely lovely!

  • Brittany - Little One. I fell in love with her sweet face the first time I found your blog only a few days ago, Oct. 9th. I began reading further back and suddenly, I found myself reading the entire last year or so of your blog. Your family is lovely and each of your posts is like a breath of fresh air. You truly have a gift of inspiring others with your gentle words and breathtaking pictures. I will definitely be regularly reading from now on!

  • Nette - You looks so happy in the first picture – those moments with the kids are so precious to have captured.

  • jami - i love how the different age groups approach their art. firecracker’s is very “abstract” ๐Ÿ˜‰ i have abecedarians.

  • Nichole - Hi Ashley,
    I work at a preschool where we introduce a new artist and composer each month. It’s amazing how the kids learn about them and are INTERESTED in them. When we teach Michelangelo we take a big piece of bulletin board paper to the underside of a table and have the kids lay on their back. We use kids washable paint and they do great with it. It’s one of my favorite painting projects of the year!

  • bayou mama - Thanks so much for sharing this little art adventure of yours! And for sharing your future adventures! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We made good use of the Michelangelo idea during our Family Night tonight… my little artists loved it. We talked about the different gifts God gives us and how we can use them (and how Michelangelo used his gifts.) The best part is that we have a table specifically for (little people) art… We took colors straight to the underside of the table. Now we have some permanent memories of our gathering tonight!

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