The Eight-Year-Old redraws famous works of art with tigers: The Tigery a Lisa

Over the weekend, The Eight-Year-Old stumbled onto the concept of derivative art. She looked up various works of art on her Daddyo’s iPad, then proceeded to redraw them as portraits of Tigery.

MonaLisaOriginalHer first effort, the Tigery a Lisa, is based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Like any serious artist, The Eight-Year-Old drew a study for her work, before she attempted the final version. After some discussion, she agreed to let me use her works for a summer series on Caterpickles, on the condition that I tell you a little bit about the original work in the post.

The Mona Lisa is perhaps too famous to require much commentary on my part. Painted in oil on wood sometime between 1503 and 1506, the Mona Lisa currently hangs in the Louvre. Although that smile may well be the most well-known smile in history, the identity of the sitter remains unknown to this day. Historians are still debating whether the Mona Lisa was a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a prominent Florentine merchant; da Vinci’s mother Caterina; or a self-portrait of da Vinci himself, dressed as a woman.

In The Eight-Year-Old’s version, the identity of the sitter is a bit more clear.

Tigery A Lisa (Artwork: The Eight-Year-Old Howell, based on Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa)

Study for Tigery a Lisa (Artwork: The Eight-Year-Old Howell, based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa)

Those are definitely Tigery’s eyebrows.

Here is the final work, in color.

The Tigery A Lisa (Artwork: The Eight-Year-Old Howell after the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci)

The Tigery a Lisa (Artwork: The Eight-Year-Old Howell after the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci)

The Eight-Year-Old’s art teacher rocks.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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