ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

John James Audubon Artist Study

Updated on June 29, 2015

Artist Study and Nature Study Overlap with Audubon

Was John James Audubon a sketching naturalist or a nature loving artist?

Actually, his bird drawings were intended to be scientific sketches instead of art. But most people would agree that his careful observation of birds brought a realism and detail to his sketches that elevated them to the level of art.

If you chose Audubon for your Charlotte Mason styled artist study, be sure to incorporate what you learn about birds into your nature studies as well. Simply turn the focus of your nature walks to studying birds and make the most of your Audubon unit study.

Below are ideas, resources, and photos to inspire your study of Audubon.

Audubon's Birds Of America

STEP ONE If you're going to study Audubon as an artist, you'll need access to several of his prints.

You can use the slideshow on this page. Here are some directions to make it easier to use the images. First click on the thumbnail you want. That will bring it up into the top spot. Then right click and select "copy image location." Then open a new tab on your browser and paste (Ctrl V) the copied address into the new tab. By following these steps, you'll have only the single image visible in that new tab.

Or use these other online resources:

Audubon's Birds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Blue HeronWhite GerfalconsBaltimore OrioleEastern BluebirdRoseate SpoonbillSnowy EgretSwanWhite PelicanEagleCarolina Parakeet
Blue Heron
Blue Heron
White Gerfalcons
White Gerfalcons
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird
Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret
White Pelican
White Pelican
Carolina Parakeet
Carolina Parakeet

Planning Your Audubon Lessons

STEP TWO After you've selected some bird prints, find a suitable biography of Audubon - either an online version or one of the excellent books written especially for children.

Although a Charlotte Mason artist study does not have to incorporate the artist's biography, learning about Audubon will enrich your understanding of his bird prints and better enable you to make connections to your nature studies.

Additional Helps

  • American Flamingo is a PDF from Picturing America. It includes a small image of the artwork plus background information and discussion questions.
  • Famous Floridians has a section on Audubon -- a biography (web or PDF format), teacher notes, student questions, a map of FL, and a prereading guide.
  • How Audubon Came to Know About Birds, a chapter from Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston (a book in the public domain)

Audubon painted almost 500 species of the approximately 700 regularly occurring North American birds.

Boy Who Drew Birds - Picture Book Biography

Homeschool Share has an entire FREE unit study for this book.

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12)
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12)
I have this book. It's a beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of John James Audubon.

More John James Audubon Biographies for Children

Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream
Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream
a picture book biography for grades 3-5

Audubon Printables

STEP THREE After reading about Audubon, have your child narrate back what he heard.

For narration you can use notebooking pages or minibooks. Or act out Audubon's life in role play! Do you have any bird puppets around your home? Pull them out and have fun.

Trying Your Hand at Drawing Birds

STEP FOUR Then BE an Audubon! Go outdoors and watch the birds. Draw what you see and collect your drawings in a nature journal.

Act like Audubon, and on your next nature walk, take along some paper and pencils. Try to find a quiet place to sit and watch birds come near you. Sketch them as best as you can in their natural habitat. If you find their frequent motions makes them impossible to capture on paper, take a few photographs and try to draw in more detail at home. Or use a reference book that you already have on hand.

Here are some tutorials and tips for drawing birds.

Draw 50 Birds

Draw 50 Birds: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Chickadees, Peacocks, Toucans, Mallards, and Many More of Our Feathered Friends (Draw 50 Series)
Draw 50 Birds: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Chickadees, Peacocks, Toucans, Mallards, and Many More of Our Feathered Friends (Draw 50 Series)
We have a couple of the Draw 50 Series. They are really great books -- realistic images with easy to duplicate lines. These books will really encourage your child to be a better artist.

Audubon Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I'm getting ready to post about my Audubon study. I did find the video, Drawn from Nature, on Netflix! I do want to put a 'warning' out there that it talks about the fact that Audubon drew a lady naked (as a paying job) and they show a lady undressing and laying naked although they cover her up... kind of. Also, if you have sensitive kids, there are some disturbing things: like the fact that Audubon said if he didn't kill 100 birds in a day it was a wasted day and the story of how he killed a hawk.

      Starting at about 35 minutes is a terrific section where they show how they make the plates for the prints! I enjoyed the movie and learned a lot, but it isn't something I'd just sit down and watch with my daughter. Maybe sections of it??? Most of it, even.

      Hope this helps!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey Jimmie, Well I didn't find this until after we just finished our Audubon Study! But I just added two posts of our bird and art study-hopefully it will be helpful. Great lens!

    • profile image

      DianaHarper LM 

      9 years ago

      I found this lens just in time. We will be studying Audubon as we study Lewis and Clark.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      9 years ago

      He is the most amazing artist. I remember a book my parents had when I was a kid, I looked at it for hours.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      9 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Another scientist that followed Audubon in drawing nature for study and produced an art form is Ernst Haeckel.

      I love these paintings. What a talented, before his time, man and thinker.

    • profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      9 years ago

      Great lens. I did know that his sketches were intended for scientific use... not art. Lots of ideas for kids here (of course).

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Audubon definitely contributed a lot to both nature and art. This is a great study. Blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I was so excited to find this study!! We are doing Audubon in a few weeks and I *thought* I might find something interesting online to supplement our study. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      Michey LM 

      11 years ago

      This is a lovely lens, kids work is amazing, thanks


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      What a wonderful resource - thank you!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Lovely lens. Audubon is one of my favorite people in history. His work was awesome.

      5* and Lensroll to John James Audubon.


    • CCGAL profile image


      11 years ago

      Beautiful lens full of interesting and useful information! 5*!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image


      11 years ago

      Beautiful lens with so many excellent resources as always

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      What a beautiful lens.

    • seashell2 profile image


      11 years ago

      Beautiful job... reminded me of my grandpa who loved birds, could name an amazing number of them! Thanks for this lens!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      11 years ago from Massachusetts

      Audubon made some of the most distinctive art of his era. I've always admired his work. His art looks great on some of the prints you can find online. Excellent job, Squid Angel blessed!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      11 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Loved the slideshow, too. Loved the children's work, too. Very nice resource!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      11 years ago

      I'm sending this one to my dad, the bird watcher! Beautiful and well written!

    • profile image

      DougP LM 

      11 years ago

      Great resource for educators, and the slide show is awesome!

    • verymary profile image


      11 years ago from Chicago area

      This is lovely! Especially like the ideas for drawing birds. One of my sons loves to do that. 5*****

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      11 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      His work is amazing. We have the big Audubon Book of Birds and I never tire looking at it. Great lens.

    • religions7 profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens, blessed :)

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      11 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Wow! Beautiful lens, and like the last person said, this would be great for adults as well. Love Audobon, have a bunch of books with his drawing since I am a bird lover too. 5*

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Used to love looking at this stuff when I worked at the bookstore. Very nice lens :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago


    • EpicFarms profile image


      11 years ago

      What a wonderful lens; his work is absolutely breathtaking! I love to draw birds (and just about any other critter that catches my eye :o) Very nicely done 5*

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      11 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love these bird paintings! Now I've got to go check out the Cassatt lens - she's one of my favorite artists. 5* and a blessing.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      This lens is not only beautiful, but also and amazing source of information. Outstanding work!!

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 

      11 years ago

      It seems to me that a lot of the ideas you have for homeschooling would be fun for adult art classes as well. :) 5* Audubon was a fascinating character.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)