Tag Archives: Homeschool Art Curriculum

ARTistic Pursuits: Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Review

If you want to learn art skills in the comfort of your home, then you might check out the fun professional art lessons for all ages from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc.   Everyone can learn art skills.

Our family recently reviewed one of their art curriculum products called Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, which is volume 1 of the 6 part series called ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray.

Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary

Instruction Book

Hardback Book

Colorful Step By Step Illustrations

18 Lessons

64 Pages

DVD

6 Video Lessons

&

Blu-Ray

6 Video Lessons

Cost $39.99 on sale for $33.99

Each field of study has it’s own vocabulary and the field of “Art” is no different.  In this curriculum, over the course of 18 lessons and hands on activities, students learn vocabulary words that artists use and much more.  They will learn about famous artists and their artworks, experiment with art supplies and various art techniques that will communicate ideas and develop skills too.

ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. curriculum is created by art instructor and author Brenda Ellis.  She has an extensive background as an artist, teacher, and author.  With her latest curriculum series for grades K-3, she wants to encourage your kids to develop a solid, hands on, “visual vocabulary” because it is the first step in learning about art.

Visual vocabulary words in this curriculum:

  • artist
  • art materials
  • compose
  • imagine
  • observe
  • elements
  • shape
  • form
  • texture
  • subjects
  • landscape
  • still life
  • portrait
  • artworks
  • and much more

Famous Art in this curriculum:

  • The Courtyard of a House in Delft by Pieter Hooch, 1658-1660
  • The Birthday by Mark Chagall, 1915
  • In Flander’s Field – Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow  by Robert Vonnoh, 1890
  • THe Christening Feast by Jan Steen, 1664
  • Flower Day by Diego Rivera, 1925
  • Boy with bagpipes and young bear by Artist Unknown, 20th CE
  • The Sunflower by Gustav Klimt, 1906-1907
  • Monte Sainte-Victore above the Tholonet Road, 1896-1898
  • Still Life with Coffeepot by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
  • Sentinel of the Plains, by William Herbert Dunton, 1910
  • Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas, 1898
  • Henry VIII by Holbein The Younger, 1540

Lessons in this curriculum:

All of the lessons are professionally illustrated and contain step by step instructions.  Six of the lessons are described in greater audio visual detail on the DVD’s.  You can chose to play the lesson either on the regular DVD or Blu-Ray DVD.  The DVD’s make you feel like the teacher is right there in the same room with you and they are very easy to understand. With DVD’s you have the freedom to pause or rewind if needed, or hear them again and again.

The 18 Lessons in the book with 6 lessons on DVD/Blu-Ray include:

  1. Watercolor Crayons (full lesson also on DVD)
  2. Artists Compose
  3. Artists Imagine
  4. Identify and Mix Colors (also on DVD)
  5. Artists Observe
  6. Artists Communicate
  7. Contruction Paper: Cut (also on video)
  8. Artists See Shapes
  9. Construction Paper: Fold (also on video)
  10. Artists See Form
  11. Oil Pastels: (also on video)
  12. Artists See Texture
  13. Artists See Landscapes
  14. Artists See Still Lifes
  15. Artists Draw Shapes (also on video)
  16. Artists See Animals
  17. Artists See Figures
  18. Artists See Portraits

The Instruction Book also contains additional chapter resources on:

  • Materials List
  • Teaching Simply
  • Welcome To The World Of Art
  • Objectives (specific learning goals for each lesson)
  • Learning Shapes Templates

Video explaining K-3 Art Instruction Books With DVD and Blu-Ray and a sample lesson:

The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to chose 1 of 4 of the 6 Books with DVD’s in this newest K-3 curriculum series called ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray. Be sure to check the Homeschool Review Crew link a the bottom of this post to read what other families thought about these products.

Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary (Volume 1)
Art of the Ancients (Volume 2)
Art of the Middle Ages (Volume 3)
Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance (Volume 4)

With this newest series of products, getting started learning about Art from a professional art instructor in the comfort of your home is easy.  Once you have your instruction Book with DVD’s and have collected your materials, you can choose your own schedule and learn at a pace that meets your needs.  Plan what day of the week you want to begin, get out your book and DVD of choice, and immediately start learning about famous works of art in history, art vocabulary, famous artists, and then imitate their techniques to create your own masterpieces.

A fine arts education is easy with curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. because they incorporate art instruction, art appreciation, and art history together in text and video lessons for seamless learning and mastery of skills.

With ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. curriculum, students will:

  • Develop observational skills.
  • Develop creativity skills.
  • Practice skills and techniques of famous artists.
  • Participate as a budding artist creating their own one of a kind masterpieces.

ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. has lots of curriculum products available. They are well known and loved by many families in the homeschool community.  On their website, you can find something for all ages Pre-K through 12th grade and even adults can learn easily with their curriculum.  This newest K-3 series that contains the hardback Instruction Books with DVD lessons replaces the 2013 spiral bound K-3 curriculum editions.

Video about ARTistic Pursuits, Inc:

Our Experience:

We chose Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Instruction Book and DVD set for the purpose of this review.  It came with a hardback Instruction Book, a DVD, and Blu-Ray.

My kids ages 6, 9,  and 10 work on this curriculum together.  They really enjoyed this learning experience.  I also had their older brothers join them for part of the learning experience too.  I just love homeschooling and having the freedom to adapt learning programs to the needs of our family!

It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to explain a lesson (or watch a video), and then your student can work on recreating the project independently.  All of my kids enjoyed these lessons.  On the days we all did them together, several sat on the couch and we pulled up additional chairs to use as tables, a folding table, and another sat at a workbench etc.  We had a living room full of young artists!

On other days, it was just the three younger kids learning or perhaps one older brother would join in when his own school lessons were finished.  For a few of the lessons, my 9 year old son or my 10 year old daughter worked on a lesson by themselves.  Out of all the younger kids, it was my 10 year old daughter who loved this curriculum the most and she wanted to work on it as often as she could.  She often chose to repeat a lesson several times, just enjoying the process of learning and practicing her skills.

Lesson Examples:

Below are just a few of the lessons we have worked on over the course of a couple of months.  We tried to maintain a plan of 1 or 2 lessons a week.  We are about 1/2 way through.

I had some art supplies on hand to use when the book first arrived.  The items that I didn’t have, I ordered at a discount online through ebay.  ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. also sells art supply kits on their website too.  You can also find most of the items at a local retail store near you if you don’t want to order items online.  We used a combination of watercolor crayons, oil pastels, watercolor pencils, ebony pencils, art paper, construction paper, tape, glue, and various props to do these lessons. Also my youngest son also wanted to use his watercolor paints for one of the lessons too.

Lesson 1: Watercolor Crayons

Using watercolor crayons and watercolor pencils was a new experience for us.

Son age 9:

Son age 6:

Daughter age 10:

Lesson 5: Artists Observe

My 13 year old son wanted to observe, draw, and color a pine cone on a tree branch.  He did an amazing job on the details.

He recently did a Davy Crocket unit study and a Pine Tree unit study, and he is currently taking a survival skills course that involves skills such as learning to identify resources from different kinds of trees.  This opportunity to learn observation and practice techniques from ARTistic Pursuits was a perfect match for him and fun for the younger kids to see how these skills can be useful and put into practice for more than just art enjoyment. Being observant and knowing what things in nature actually look like could help you find resources that your survival might depend on someday.

Lesson 9: Construction Paper- Fold (Construction Paper Folded Animals part 1)

The kids created 3D animals from construction paper.  In this lesson they learned to draw, cut, fold, and make a bear that stands up and is looking toward you.

Lesson 10: Artists See Form (Construction Paper Folded Animals part 2)

Big brother helped two younger brothers create 3D animals from construction paper.

They created the side profile of horses.

Sister made a dog and a lion from this lesson too.

Lesson 11: Oil Pastels

We learned it is hard to color and make fine details on pictures with oil pastels!  They smear and smudge easily.  But with perseverance, it can be done.

The task was to watch a video lesson, gather objects from around the house, then draw and color them using techniques from the video using oil pastels.

My daughter age 10 created a picture of a tea set using oil pastels.

My son age 6, started out wanting to make his picture of a sea shell, but later he changed his mind and wanted to create a picture of his toy wooden airplane.

My son age 9 wanted to make his picture of different houses.

My son age 17 wanted to create his picture of various colored beads. He loves geometric shapes and patterns.

My son age 15 wanted to create his picture of a toy tractor and include it in a farm scene.

Lesson 13: Artists See Landscapes

We enjoyed learning to make trees and landscapes in this lesson.  We recently reviewed a T is for Tree Bible ABC book and learning to make trees fit in perfectly with the focus of that book too.

Materials: watercolor crayons, paper, brush, water, and paper towels.  My youngest son’s picture is at the top of the photo below and he wanted to use his watercolor paints instead of his watercolor crayons.  The picture below his in the same photo was done by my 10 year old daughter with her watercolor crayons.

I tried my hand with this lesson too and learned how to make landscapes and trees.  I made the picture posted below with watercolor crayons, but had not gone over it yet with a water brush to smooth out and blend the colors when I took this picture of it.  But I love how it turned out anyway.  I have 0 art skills, but somehow, it came out despite my lack of skills.

I tried to make three different types of trees with mountains and a stream, and show the light shining on the trees from the right side and made the trees get darker further down on their left side and back side of the mountains.  This was my first time to use the watercolor crayons.  See I told you adults (even with no previous art experience) can learn from these books too!

Lesson 14: Artists See Still Lifes

The task here was to collect three items to use as a “still life” and draw and color with watercolor crayons.  My six year old son collected three objects he wanted in his still life picture: a starfish, a clam shell, and a fish.  But part way through, he changed his mind, flipped to a new blank page, and wanted to create a still life picture of his boot!  His BOOT!!!

After coloring with the watercolor crayons, the technique is to take a brush and plain water and paint water over what you have colored and it blends together to look like watercolor paint.  He loves these crayons!

Lesson 16: Artists See Animals

My thirteen year old son loves to create, draw, paint, color, etc.  He is a budding artist.  He ventured further ahead and did this lesson.   He has more experience drawing and is also using the ARTistic Pursuits Middle School Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition that is all about sketching and drawing.

The younger kids have not completed this lesson yet.  The task is to look at a picture of an animal of your choice (such as a horse) and draw and color it.

Lesson 18: Artists See Portraits

The task in this lesson is to use oil pastels, ruler, construction paper, tissue, and a mirror to create a self portrait.  My 10 year old daughter learned to make a self portrait and then she made a portrait similar to an example of a girl in the textbook lesson.

She did very well for her first time ever!  It is amazing how well these lessons communicate the ideas so that kids can understand the task and create their own masterpieces.

Final Thoughts:

It is about mid June now, and we are finishing our school year, but I am sure the kids will want to finish this course and then repeat all of these lessons again and practice these new skills they have learned during the hot summer days ahead too.  They have really enjoyed this curriculum.

This Instructional Book and DVD set contains 18 Professional Art Lessons at a reasonable cost, for about $2.22 per lesson. If you are like me and have multiple students using this curriculum, then the cost for each lesson is even less.  For example, in our homeschool, we have six kids plus myself using this material, so that is $40 Book with DVDs / 18 Lessons = $2.22 per lesson / 7 art students = $0.32 per lesson per person for our family.  That is a budget friendly deal for professional art lessons!

Art is a subject we are expected to teach and learn about in education.  I have used products from ARTistic Pursuits and other companies for our homeschool Art curriculum.  However, to be honest, I have been hesitant over the years to jump into “ART” curriculum for a good reason!  I have learned to approach using art lessons with my kids with prayer and from a biblical worldview.  I am cautious because I do not want to violate my faith in the art projects we create including the art lessons on creating a “graven” (carved) image.  We trust in Father God, our Creator, and one of the 10 Commandments (rules to live by) that Father God gave his followers is:

“You are not to make for yourselves a graven (carved) image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.” Exodus 20:4

Father God himself made the image of mankind from his own image and breathed into it:

“Then Adonai, God, formed man (mankind) from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

As I wrestled with this rule, I met others along the way who took it very seriously and I met others who didn’t care at all.  One town I lived in previously had stone / concrete statues that were hand painted placed up and down the sidewalks on every street corner.  I have also met people with statues in their homes and yards, government buildings, market places, and church buildings, where they had statues of angels, statues of dead people (heros and saints), statues of gods and goddesses, and parts of their bodies like the huge phallus that is on the grounds of many public buildings, and statues of animals, and birds too.  One man I used to know gave us a huge wooden statue of an eagle he had outside along the pathway near the garden.  It was hand carved and abeautiful.  However, we knew after he gave it to us that it was wrong to have such a piece of “art”.   Some people I have known lined their “knickknack” shelves in their homes with carved images because they enjoyed collecting them as a hobby.  I’ve met people who pray to statues either at home or in religious buildings, and people who place their trust in statues to protect them too.  I have also met people who have a carved image of a man crucified on a cross and hang it in their homes or next to their beds or around their neck and they believe the carved image has power to protect them.  We are instructed in the scriptures not to do this.  I had a roommate in college from Tiawan who prayed to pictures of dead relatives and burned incense to them believing they had power to protect her.  I had friends from Japan and China who also believed this way.  I had Hindu friends from India and Pakistan who had images and figurine statues of various “gods” they prayed to daily and placed red colored stickers or a dot of face paint or stuck red gem stones onto their foreheads.  I had another Christian friend in college attending graduate school who had grown up in India and prayed to religious statues in church and at her private religious school.   I also had an older Christian friend from the USA who sat beside the grave of her dead son and dead husband next to their gravestones and she would pray and also talk to them about current issues in her life and seek their spirit as well as pray to statues at her church where she prayed each Sunday to protect and guide her.  I have been to modern museums where there are waxed sculptures of well known people and animals, and museums that have human looking robots who speak and move and tell stories.  I have also met people and spent time in their homes who are on the other extreme too such as the old order Amish who wouldn’t have any statues of any kind either outside in their yard or inside their homes, or around their neck or wrist and would not even get their picture taken or have any pictures in their homes at all.  I have met people from around the world who were in between these extremes too.

However, I share all of this personal information to say that we need to be careful to obey the commands Father God gave us to “love and obey Father God with all your heart”, “have no other gods”, “do not make a graven image”, “do not create idols”, etc. as well as obey the commands his son gave us to “love Father God with all our heart, and also love your neighbor as yourself” and do not cause any child to stumble by what you teach them because the kingdom of God belongs to them.   The scriptures say that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around your neck and be cast into the sea than for you to cause a little one to stumble and fall away from Father God.  WOW!  This is serious!

“He called a child to him, stood him among them, and said, “Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won’t even enter the Kingdom of Heaven! So the greatest in the Kingdom is whoever makes himself as humble as this child. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me; and whoever ensnares one of these little ones who trust me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the open sea! Woe to the world because of snares! For there must be snares, but woe to the person who sets the snare!  So if your hand or foot becomes a snare for you, cut it off and throw it away! Better that you should be maimed or crippled and obtain eternal life than keep both hands or both feet and be thrown into everlasting fire!”  Matthew 18:2-8

Art (as well as many other things) can easily lead us to break these commands and lead us or our children down the wrong path.  I do not believe that having your picture taken or making a drawing or painting is the same as creating a graven image.  I could be wrong about pictures and my Amish friends could be right.  So my advice is to pray about it and trust Father God to show you the truth.  For me, over the years I have come to understand the difference between an image and a graven image as two different things though they can be one and the same.  I believe a graven image to mean any “carved image” made of stone, wood, or metals that represents something that is dead (no breath in it) but is in the image of something that could be alive or have lived (such as people, birds, land animals, water animals), or possessed by a demon spirit, and any idols or images you might be tempted to place your trust in (such as angels, heros, saints, sun, moon, stars, planets, gods, demigods, demons, fairies, elves, wizards, witches, gargoyles, dragons, talismans, charms, serpents, trees or plants).  Father God made mankind in his image and gave us the breath of life.  We choose to place our trust in him and obey him. We are set apart and He has forbidden us to make graven images.

I understand that sculptures and carved images are part of learning about art history, religions, empires, governments, fame, and fortunes, and these images are all around us in this world.  However, for my family, though we can learn who made them and why they made them as part of learning about history, and we obviously observe their existence in every culture today, we believe we have been warned by Father God in the scriptures not to create these images ourselves, not to have or posses these images, and also not to place our trust in them.

We are to be “set apart” to bring Father God glory.  We are to love others, but we do not follow them and their traditions.  This makes us different from the rest of the world (you are in the world but not “of” the world) because we trust in Father God and obey the 10 commandments He gave us and ask his forgiveness when we have disobeyed, and we believe He sent his only begotten son who perfectly obeyed Him, to die in our place and purchase back our lives to save us from the eternal death and destruction that will come upon this world for rejecting Father God and breaking those commands.  This is serious!

“did not turn from what they had made with their own hands — they did not stop worshipping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they turn from their murdering, their involvement with the occult and with drugs, their sexual immorality or their stealing.” Revelation 9:20-21

Creating graven images isn’t the only concern with products marketed to children.  There are many things that could have spiritual consequences.  I would encourage homeschool families who desire to obey Father God, to pray about the art products and curriculum they use and ask Father God to show them what He wants them to teach their children about art and any other subject.

Thankfully, ARTistic Pursuits, Inc has curriculum that meets different families needs, and is flexible, and has several art lesson options to choose from that don’t violate our faith, or we can avoid certain lessons if needed.  These flexible options have helped us learn about art, art history, and practice art techniques that don’t involve carving images into graven image sculptures.  We mainly chose to focus on the lessons that involve drawing, sketching, making crafts, coloring, and painting for our hands on portion of the curriculum and avoid lessons that pertain to carving sculptures.  ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. has a huge variety of products from the toddler-preschool ages all the way through senior year in highschool that can help prepare students to take art courses at the college level too.

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Creating a Masterpiece Review

Creating A Masterpiece is an online Fine Arts Masterpiece program for students of all ages.  They offer affordable and easy to follow step by step instructions by master artist Sharon Hofer.

We were given a 6 month subscription to the Monthly Plan for our whole family to use in exchange for trying it out and writing an honest review.  I was so inspired by the instructor that I am doing these art project lessons right along with my kids.  It is a lot of fun!

Creating A Masterpiece Monthly Plan

Online Fine Art Instruction

All Ages

Video Lesson (online)

Supply List (online and PDF)

144 Lessons

18 Media

58+ Fine Art Projects

Retail: $39 month.

This is an online fine arts program with 144 lessons covering 58+ projects. The projects are divided into 5 skill levels plus an Art History section.  The projects cover 18 different media types. This program is flexible and you can choose to work on a specific skill level or with a particular media.  It is recommended to complete at least one lesson a week. How you choose to progress through the program is up to you.  You can also move around in the program however it best suits your needs.

Levels:

Beginner
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Art History

ART MEDIUM:

18 different media are covered in the lessons and you can choose work with specific media rather than work on a specific level:

Acrylic
Batik
Block Printing
Carving
Conte’ Crayon
Copper Tooling
Glass Mosaic
Gouache
Ink
Mixed Media
Oil Painting
Oil Pastel
Pencil/Charcoal
Sculpture
Silk Painting
Soft Pastel
Watercolor
Wood Burning

Projects:

There are 58+ different projects.  You will need to decide on the project (choose either by level or by media) you wish to work on. Click on that lesson and go over the supply list as well as watch the video(s) to begin the project.

Each beginner lessons take about 1 hour or so to complete.  Most upper level projects have 3 to 5 lessons, and a few projects have as many as 7 lessons built in, so those projects will take longer to complete.

Check out this short 11 minute video of a young girl completing an online lesson and you will see how easy this program is for kids of all ages.

Supplies:

Each project has it’s own list of supplies needed.  Supply costs vary depending on the project you choose, and you may have some items currently on hand in your home, or you may need to purchase supplies in the craft section of your local store or online.  The program does not dictate how you buy the supplies, you are free to pick up your supplies however it works best for you to acquire them.

Sample:

If you would like to “try before you buy”, then check out the “Lessons in Soft Pastel” FREE Sample Lesson.  This is an excellent way to see how this program works.  You can also get the complete supply list of all the projects when you are given access for the sample lesson.

Art Teacher Sharon Hofer:

Sharon is dedicated and passionate that every student young and old regardless of skill level has the opportunity to create beautiful artwork and she is confident every student will excel with her program.

Sharon Hofer, has learned, mastered, and taught almost all forms of art media.  She began her love of art as a young child, and began her career teaching art while she was still a student in highschool.  She helped as a teaching assistant for the elementary grade art classes.  She went on to college and learned every media of art she could so that she could be the best teacher she could be.  She became a pastor’s wife.  She then homeschooled her own kids and taught them art.  She then taught other homeschool art classes in larger settings and her home art studio grew to over 180+ students a week.

She loves teaching art!

A quote from her website: “…you will be amazed at what they can do. As you will see, children as young as 4 – 5 can make masterpieces using media usually reserved for the high school student and beyond.” Sharon

Sharon is the owner and teacher of Creating A Masterpiece online fine art program, and the Hidden Acres Art School.  She has taught art classes professionally for over 16+ years.  She includes many forms of art media in her lessons so that each student has fine art instruction and exposure to a variety of learning opportunities.

Using this program with my family:

I love this teacher!!!  Before I did any research about Sharon’s background, that she was a homeschool mom, loved kids and teaching, or that she was a pastor’s wife, I felt a deep love for her.  I can’t explain it.  There was something so special about the way she presented herself and encouraged me right through the computer screen.  I knew she cared about me and my kids even though I had not met her in person.

I really like this program.  Sharon is so easy to follow and very encouraging. I have never heard an art teacher so easy to follow and interesting to listen to.  She is so encouraging that I want to, I desire to, make these projects. I am sure that sounds weird to someone who has not heard her speak, but trust me when I tell you that you will want to work on the project after you hear her teach the lesson.  You feel like you can do it!

This program is flexible in choosing what projects you want to do and when you want to do your lessons. We can log into our account from any computer, any time of day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and fit these lessons into our life where they fit best.

To do a lesson, my kids log into our account.  Then the kids gather the listed materials.  Next they begin implementing the steps they learned in the lesson.

You can listen to the lesson over and over again as you work and pause it whenever it is needed.  For example, you may want to let your masterpiece dry before moving onto another step, so pausing at a specific step is a good idea.  Also some of the lessons are broken down into short videos so you naturally pause between one video and the next.

We did improvise some of the materials where we needed too.  For example, for the lessons in watercolors, we didn’t have sponges on hand, so we used paper towels or just got extra water on our brushes to achieve similar (but not quite as nice) affects.  We also didn’t have the “nicer” paper for painting, so we used the paper we had on hand.  Sharon says in the water color lessons the lesser grade paper will wrinkle a little more as it gets wet and she gives instructions to iron the paper when completed to reduce wrinkles in the final product.  It still worked out great!  No worries!

Lessons in watercolors:

The first lesson we chose to do was a beginner level watercolor lesson with flowers. The lesson was divided into three short videos about 4 minutes, 5 minutes, and 6 minutes in duration.  After we watched the videos, we sat down to do the lesson and paused the video as needed and complete the steps as you let the project dry for a bit then watch the next section and complete it. Overall, the video and art project took about 45 minutes to 1 hour for each of my kids to complete.   This was very easy to do and motivated us to do more.

Floral Medley Project:

Lessons in Watercolor: Floral Medley

There are 3 videos in this project comprising one lesson for beginners.  The goal is to simply explore colors of flowers using water color paints and try to keep the main focus in the middle third of the page while placing various faded flower colors throughout the page.  Sharon teaches you the basics of watercolor and you can put your own ideas with it and use your imagination. 

The kids spread out throughout the house and got busy with their first project.  Some followed the steps closely and some improvised their projects.

Field of Wheat in watercolors:

More random flowers with watercolors:

Landscape Projects:

African Sunset

Another lesson in watercolors is painting landcapes.  This lesson shows how to paint an African landscape that includes a blazing sun.  Sharon has traveled to Africa many times and shares her first hand experience in creating this masterpeice.  This beginner lesson is made up of 2 videos and was a little more complicated than the floral medley lesson.

My son was working on a landscape picture here.  You need to let projects with watercolors dry in between stages so he was working on different ones giving him something to do while one was drying.  I took these pictures before he was through creating them.  

Other landscape projects:

Another son wanted to paint from his experience and enjoys the flowers (lupines) in bloom in the front yard. He wanted to make his landscape picture look like them. The front yard is an open space surrounded by pine trees with a sky above and the grass in front of the trees is filled with lupines in bloom.

Painting a yard landscape of lupines:

A younger sibling went out and picked a few to compare his picture to and he did a beautiful job expressing his idea of a field of lupines.

 

Lessons in Pencils:

Sunflower Project

Lessons in Pencil: Sunflower

The Sunflower project is comprised of 6 lessons divided into 14 videos.  “The students will start by drawing basic shapes and finish with a beautiful masterpiece. You will understand the importance of value as you learn how to shade. In creating this masterpiece you will be using tools such as kneading erasers, stiff-bristled brush, and tortillons.” (from the website).

My son age 12, not yet finished working on his sunflower:

Other sketches:

Using these lessons and the art work listed in the references, he sketched a sailboat

 

and also sketched a dog:

And he sketched a bird too:

Planning The Next Project:

There are so many options for wonderful projects with this program.  The next lesson I am looking forward to learning is working with clay (and I would like to work with concrete too).  My kids don’t have any experience with clay.  I have very little experience when I did ceramics in 4H as a child and made a few free hand projects.  That was over 30+ years ago.  I think I would enjoy creating projects with clay.  We are not really interested in making sculptures per se. but we are interested in making useful items with clay.  Sharon has a Level 1 Lesson working with self hardening clay and make’s a turtle in that lesson.  I think the techniques she teaches will be helpful as we work towards our goals.

Personally I want to make things that are practical and useful that I can put in the garden.  I would like them to serve a function such as to hold compost to feed worms, or collect water, or keep the birds from eating my seeds and fruits or interesting pots for plants to climb and drape from.  I am not sure yet what kind of clay will work for that or if I will need to consider a different type of media to use outdoors.  Some other future projects with clay or concrete I would like my family to do are earthen vessels that can hold water, vessels that can hold or cook food, beautiful flower pots, stepping stones and stone mosaics to walk out to the garden on and decorate some flower beds, and a bird bath for another area in the front of the house along the sidewalk.  I would like to make an outdoor oven that is beautiful and functional so I can bake bread and pizza but yet it is a work of art too.

Final thoughts:

The instructions for each lesson and clear and easy to follow and you can make improvisations where you want.  It is flexible and so simple to do. Everyone can create a masterpiece!

There are lots of art programs out there.  Some are in book form, and some are classes you attend.  Some are also in video format and you can use them right from the comfort, convenience, and freedom in your schedule right in your home.

If you are looking for an art program you can do from home, 27/7 at anytime day or night, with a competent art teacher and benefit from the most savings to your wallet,  then I would encourage you to buy a subscription to Creating A Masterpiece monthly plan or yearly plan.  I believe these lessons are more affordable and flexible and better instruction than other programs I have seen.

Low Cost divided into monthly, yearly, or various skill levels subscription plan.  An entire family (we have 8 people in our family) can use this program learning multiple kinds of media, for less than half of what it normally cost for 1 student to receive art instruction using only one form of media.

Choose a plan that meets the needs of your family:

If you bought the monthly plan for $39 a month, and you have 1 kid and he did one project a week, then each lesson would cost you about $10 plus your supplies.  This is very reasonable for professional instruction and convenience.

However, if you know you need more than just a few months worth of lessons, then consider the yearly plan subscription for $349 a year.   1 kid using the yearly plan completing only 1 project a week, your lesson costs would be about $6.71 ($349 / 52 = 6.71).  You are already saving money!   If your 1 child did two lessons a week, your cost would be $3.49 (349 / 52 / 2 = 3.49) for each lesson.  See where I am going with this?  The more lessons your child completes, the less each lesson costs.

But lets change up this a bit and look at it from my point of view.  I have six kids and using this program for art lessons is a huge savings for us.  Both the monthly and yearly plans are much more affordable than buying individual lessons in town for my kids.

In my case, our family will see a huge savings!  If you are in the same boat as me and you have 6 kids and each kid completes 1 lesson per week, then on the monthly plan would cost $1.62 (39 subscription / 4 weeks / 6 kids = 1.62) per child per week each month.  WOW!  The year subscription would cost even less at $1.12 (349 subscription / 52 weeks / 6 kids = 1.12) per child per lesson plus art supplies.  I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for art lessons for my children for this price.  I am truly thankful this high quality and affordable art program is available to us.

Social Media Links:

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other Homeschool Review Crew members had to say about using Creating a Masterpiece with their families.

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