World’s Greatest Artists: Leonardo da Vinci

Welcome to the World’s Greatest Artist study on Leonardo da Vinci!


Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born on April 5, 1452 in present day Florence, Italy. He was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, and writer! He is known as the man of “unquenchable curiosity”, and had an inventive imagination. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest painters and the most diversely talented person to ever live.

We took a few lessons and discussions to read through the Leonardo Leonardo Da Vinci World’s Greatest Artist series by Mike Venezia. We talked about all the different styles that da Vinci was known for, and took lots of time to familiarize ourselves with and critically assess his works of art. (Note: There is some nudity in this book.)



This study includes:

  • Lesson plans for each week
  • Lap Book printables
  • Artist Notebooking page
  • Art Puzzles
  • Artist Flashcards
  • Hands on art activities

Much of our time studying the artists has been through open discussion and hands on experimentation. Our goal is to be able to easily identify the works from each of our artists studied, learn to look at art critically, as well as have gained an appreciation for art in general. Here is Strawberry Shortcake getting ready to read about our new artist.




As we learn how to critically assess a piece of artwork, here are some of the things we discussed for each painting:

  • Describe what we see in this work of art.
  • How do they think the artist was feeling when they created it? Why?
  • How it makes your student feel looking at it?
  • Does the use of color help convey mood?
  • Is there something unusual or unique about the piece of art?
  • What is going on in the work, is there a story that can be told about it? (Each of them had a few minutes to share their version of what they thought was going on in the story with us.)
  • What kind of style and medium did the artist use in this work?
  • Overall do you like the painting, if so yes, why? If no why not?



Strawberry worked on filling out our artist card for Leonardo da Vinci. She wrote down his style, technique, movement, and then a couple of our favorite works.



We added our card and our da Vinci mini-book of artwork to our World’s Greatest Artist lapbook. Sorry for the torn piece on the bottom, we decided the cards fit better along the side flap instead of below the Michelangelo and da Vinci mini-books.



Next everyone took a turn with the Mona Lisa puzzle. Tinkerbell did a great job on this, she only needed a little help in the darker areas of the painting.



For our art project this month, we decided to do a copy of Leonardo’s famous painting the “Mona Lisa



Since I knew the Mona Lisa would be difficult to replicate I opted to printout a Mona Lisa coloring page for them to paint. You don’t have to use that one, you can Google “Mona Lisa Coloring Page” and get TONS of options!



I supplied them with brushes, paints, as well as some skin toned crayons since creating skin tones is difficult with paints. And we were out of white paint, which didn’t help!



Even the Teeny Tot got involved. She covered her whole page with a lovely green and blue color.



Strawberry Shortcake took extra care with this one. She was very thorough and detailed in her strokes. I was really pleased with her focus, even when the other kiddos finished, she kept working until her project was completed.



Here is her finished work, I like her use of color in this, and her attention to detail.



Unlike Turbo…who said “I’m going to be picky like da Vinci and leave my work unfinished”…I thought it was a creative excuse so I let him get away with it LOL!



Even Tinker Bell did a great job on this project!



We also had the privilege to attend a Leonardo Da Vinci Machines exhibit at a local art museum. I love how timing works out sometimes! The exhibit was really cool, it had a ton of the machines that Da Vinci designed himself. They estimate that Da Vinci had over 44,000 drawings, 14,000 of which have been restored. Many of his inventions have been made, and that is what is on display at the exhibitions.



I’m not sure what the item on the left is, but Turbo loved spinning it around.

Leonardo Da Vinci


Some sort of wagon/war thing?



A paddle boat…

Leonardo Da Vinci


Some sort of hydraulic engine thing?

Leonardo Da Vinci


One debated opinion is that Da Vinci actually invented the first conceptual drawing of a bicycle, as well as the chain that powered it.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

He is also noted for inventing the parachute, the hand-glider, diving gear, and musical instruments.



Here is a pulley system he invented.



An army tank, and several other war tools and contraptions.

Leonardo Da Vinci


A catapult…


And my personal favorite, the hydraulic pump. This was really cool, there is water in that bottom box and when you turn the crank, the tube that spirals up the large cylinder actually catches the water and transfers it UP the tube and dumps it out in the top box. We played with this thing for awhile trying to figure out how the water makes it up! It was apparently used for pumping water up from deep wells up to higher ground.

Leonardo Da Vinci

And that was it for our Leonardo Da Vinci week! I hope you enjoyed the ideas and our World’s Greatest Artist curriculum!

All of the things you see in this post are included in our artist curriculum. If you haven’t seen the previous posts, this year for art we are studying 8 different world famous artists. We have chosen to do art twice a week, and we’ll cover one artist each month. We’re currently using my World’s Greatest Artists Vol. 1 curriculum!

Click here to get The World’s Greatest Artists Vol. 1 




  • Gita Suchland June 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

    We enjoyed doing the Leonardo Da Vinci study also and the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition came to St. Louis too.

  • Chareen June 6, 2012 at 4:26 am

    We loved the Da Vinci exhibition when it came to town. It brought it all to life.

    Well done Turbo ! I love the creative passion ;o)

    Loved to see all the paintings. Thank you for sharing

  • Marlene June 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Love this!!!! & the fact that smaller kids can do it too, is awesome!!

  • CharityHawkins@TheHomeschoolExperiment June 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Would you be willing to share where the museum is? I am wondering how far we are away and if we’ll happen to be near it when driving this summer.
    Also, love the Mona Lisa puzzle idea. I’m teaching art at co-op next year and think that would be a great game to do with some of our art.

  • Kristen July 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Where did you get the mats your children used to paint on? I’m looking for something similar that my children can use to draw, write, and do art on — I’m hoping to protect our wood table and give them a totally flat surface to work on.

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Kristen,
      They are actually using the backside of a Masonite chalkboard as their mat! I found them at a local office supply store. So they’re dual use ;o)

  • Erika January 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    From what age would you recommend this?
    Also in the actual artist study 1 I see you refer to
    reading ex. pg 1 -11, where is this reading from?
    Thank you

    • erica January 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Erika,
      the reading assignments are from the Mike Venezia book for each artist. You’ll see a link to it in the curriculum materials needed as well as in my store under the artist units.


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About MeI am a Christian, a wife, and a homeschooling mom to four of the sweetest kiddos you'll ever meet. Our family has been greatly blessed by this blog and I pray that God uses it to bless your family as well. Confessions was started as a way to share resources, ideas and encouraging tips on how to make your homeschool fun! I hope you enjoy your visit!