I am not much of an artist. Oh, I try. I’ve sketched in a nature journal, and sometimes those sketches come out remarkably lifelike. (And sometimes they don’t…)
I sat in on an introduction to watercolor and learned some amazing things about brushstrokes, coming out with a picture of tulips that looked as if they were swaying in a breeze. Believe me, what I did to make those tulips was completely counter-intuitive, and yet tulips emerged on the paper. Amazing.
I know the frustration of seeing a picture in my mind’s eye, and being unable to translate it onto paper. In one way, art is drawing what you see, and yet, sometimes to make a picture real, you do things that aren’t obvious at first.
It’s like an artist told me, while she was describing how she’d painted a portrait in oil. First she primed the canvas with green. That green undertone got covered up, and yet the fact that it was there made the subject’s skin look real, not unnaturally rosy.
Anyhow, before you get to these subtleties in creating art (painting what you don’t see to get a result that looks real and natural to your observing eye), it’s important to learn some basics, or drawing what you see. You’ve probably heard terms like line and shape, and composition.
Members of the TOS Crew received the first of a set of DVDs from See the Light, with a series of 10-minute art classes. There are four classes on the first DVD.
Tools of the Trade: The first class introduces you to the art supplies used in the course. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to go out and buy a whole lot of expensive things. You’re likely to have pencils, paper, crayons, and colored pencils in your house already. You might need to get a white eraser and kneaded eraser, if you don’t have one already, and an art pencil that’s softer than a #2, and a charcoal pencil or stick.
It All Starts with a Line: This brief lesson introduces you to different kinds of lines, which are the basics of drawing. It’s all very elementary, but of course this is an art class aimed at elementary ages and up.
The last two lessons, Contours & Composition and Draw What You See, continue the exploration of line.
The lessons follow art basics that were already familiar to us; contour drawings of fruit and shoes have come home from the girls’ art classes in the past. Of course, they spent a lot more than 10 minutes per class to come up with their drawings!
…and that is the point of these short lessons. Each lesson introduces a skill, and the student is expected to practice that skill before the next lesson. The lessons are short, suiting a young student’s attention span. There are no flashy animations (I like that), just a teacher talking about what she’s doing as she does it. She maintains rather a slow cadence appropriate for young children, yet our teen did not find the slow pace tiresome.
Each lesson introduces a skill, as I mentioned, followed by suggestions for practice, and concluding in a short devotional that relates the lesson’s subject to some Bible theme or character quality.
The See the Light Art Class set of 36 lessons on 9 DVDs is available at the publisher’s website for $99.99. You can get the same DVD the TOS Crew got for free, if you want to check out the first few lessons yourself.
This set is handy for homeschoolers as it uses basic materials, easily obtainable. The lessons are short and, from what I’ve seen, easy to follow. It’s not hard to schedule in a 10-minute viewing once a week, and then encourage the kids to practice during the week. (If your children are anything like our girls, they draw a lot on their own, anyhow.)
If the price doesn’t fit your budget, you might go in on the purchase with another family or several families together and do an art co-op class, culminating in an art show at the end of the year. Sounds like fun!
To read more TOS Crew reviews of this DVD, click here.
Disclaimer: Members of the TOS Crew received the first DVD in the Art Class 1 Year Set for review purposes and personal use. No additional compensation was involved.