A Rearing Horse, Leonardo Da Vinci

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Before sharing the Art Print with students, show them a reproduction of Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's iconic masterpiece. Briefly explain da Vinci's importance, and how he was a scientist in addition to being an artist. Share the Art Print and its title. Ask students to offer ideas of the meaning of the word "rearing."

Point out how the drawing actually depicts two horses in slightly different positions. Ask students to explain how this method creates the sense of motion. On another day, bring in precut, articulated, cardboard horse models. (A fun example, from Goo-dEGG Industries, can be found at www.goodeggshop. com.) Show students how to use brads to attach the body parts, and then have them play with the model by placing it in various positions. Have students settle on a position, and then give them manila board and pencils to make a sketch of their horse. When students have finished their sketches, they can go over the pencil marks with terracotta-colored chalk, one of Leonardo's favorite drawing mediums.


Share the Art Print with students. Explain to them that Leonardo da Vinci loved to sketch figures in motion, particularly horses. (Download a selection of da Vinci's horse sketches from Google Images and display these in addition to the Art Print).

If your school has a designated computer lab, put students in pairs and instruct them to search the Internet for video footage of horses in motion, such as circus horses, wild horses in herds, show horses, farm horses, and so on.

Back in the classroom, give students time to make sketches of horses in motion. Encourage students to make many small sketches on a single sheet of paper. After students have had enough time to sketch, have them choose one example to enlarge into a final drawing. Students can use pencil, and then trace over their lines with chalk or colored pencil. …