Drafting “The Death of Socrates”

The Death of Socrates (1787) by Jacques-Louis David is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  The staff there have made a wonderful discovery that unravels David’s creative process for this well known work of art.

I first saw this video on Juliana Fernandes blog Fine Art For All. If you have a love of the classics, be sure to visit her blog!  She has a great series on Art Appreciation.

Art History · BLOG

Doctor Who?

Originally posted on Fine Art for All blog.  The actor who plays Van Gogh did an excellent job. His subtle range of emotions as he listens to the Curator praising his work and humanity is truly touching! I think most artists would be so moved.  Please visit Fine Art For All blog to get the link to see the video.



I love Doctor Who “Vincent and the Doctor” episode; I believe they (the writers and Ton Curran) captured Van Gogh’s gentle and loving soul perfectly.  This scene makes me emotional every time I watch it!:  DoctorWhoVanGogh

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Clementine Hunter, Louisiana Artist

Thanks Louise Canfield for this great post about one of the South’s best known African American artists Clementine Hunter. Hunter worked hard all her life. Her joy was in making art. Art still refreshes the spirit! Visit Real Southern, Real Women blog to read more.



Possibly Louisiana’s most famous artist,  Clementine Hunter was Cotton Pickingborn in 1886 at Hidden Hill Plantation and spent most of her life at nearby Melrose Plantation  in the  Cane River region in Louisiana owned  by John and Carmelite (“Miss Cammie”) Henry  She worked as a field hand and was proud she could pick 250 pounds  a day  (a single cotton boll weighs about 0.15 oz).  She  bore seven children and on the morning before giving birth to one of them, picked 78 pounds of cotton.

In middle age, Miss Cammie brought Clementine into the Big House to cook and clean. There  she met Alberta Kinsey, a New Orleans artist who inspired Clementine to  paint.  In her words, ”

“ the 1930s Alberta Kinsey came here…to paint and I had to

Melrose Plantation quilt, Clementine Hunter Melrose Plantation quilt, Clementine Hunter

clean up her room. She gave me some old tubes of paint to throw in the trash, but I didn’t pay…

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Drawing: Degas’ Warm Colors

The following post is written in a conversational style for young artists in grades K-3.  When reading to younger kids use the pause notation “—” to allow time for the child to respond.


This is French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas.

Self-portrait, 1895
Edgar Degas, 1895 Image credit Edgar-


Do you like to dance? — Most of Edgar Degas’ artwork featured ballerinas.  Look at this short video posted on YouTube by Accabadora.  It shows several Degas’ paintings of ballerinas.  Try to count the different works of art in this video.  How many did you discover? —



In the video, most of the ballerinas wore simple white tutus.  But their sashes, ribbons and hair bows were very colorful – orange, red, yellow and pink.   Artists describe these colors as warm colors because they make us think of things that are warm like a bright yellow sun or a blazing red fire.  When artists place warm colors next to cool colors (like green, blue or purple) the warm colors seem to jump out at you and the cool colors recede into the background.

Now lets look at this one ballerina art work by Degas

Dancer Rose, Edgar Degas Art Institute of Chicago
Dancer Rose, Edgar Degas  Image Credit Art Institute of Chicago

What are the warm colors found in her dress and hair decoration?–It is easy to see the red and yellow flowers in her hair.  What color is used for the wall?–Do you think this is a warm color or a cool color?–

Many artists use a color wheel to help them to decide which colors are cool and warm.  Lets use this color wheel to make art using warm colors!


Color Wheel Divided into Warm and Cool color groups.  Image credit


MATERIALS (Some art supplies available at ArtReach online.)

Warm colors are mostly found in the red and yellow family – Artists often use these colors to show excitement (reds) , cheerfulness (yellows) and comfort (browns).  Here are some ideas for drawing with warm colors:

  • Draw a big sandcastle on a beach
  • Draw a super fast race car leaping through a blazing ring of fire
  • Draw a hot food that is really spicy
  • What other warm colored drawings can you make?


Find out more about warm and cool colors by watching this great YouTube video by ehullquist.


Featured Image Credit: The Dance Lesson from