Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Friday, April 22, 2011

See The Light

Okay, it's time to pull out your paintbrushes and dust off your easel, because we're delving into art today. These past couple of months, our family had the chance to try out the DVD, Art Class Volume 1, which covers the basics of art in 4 separate lessons.

Master Artist Pat Knepley is our teacher, and shows us a few elementary techniques, all while weaving Gods word throughout each lesson. So, here is what you may expect as you begin...

Lesson 1: Start by putting together your "toolkit" so you are ready to draw at a moment's notice. Pretty simple, nothing fancy here. A few drawing pencils, a sharpie, some charcoal sticks, kneadable eraser (this was the hands down favorite of my girls, they used it like playdough), a regular pink and white eraser, and colored pencils. Of course, we can't forget the drawing paper. After going over these items briefly, you'll get an overview of the drawing process.

Lesson 2 : I bet you've never considered the significance of the humble line ;) But, a line is not just a line. There are many different styles, and in this lesson, you'll learn how simply holding a pencil in a particular way will affects what kind of line you'll get, from a fine, faint line, to a bold, dark one. I found this to be a good lesson for me in not underestimating what your children are capable of. Initially, I wasn't sure m kids would be able to "get" these techniques. Guess what? They are quick studies. We learned how holding the pencil in various grasps affects the darkness of the line, among other things. My youngest in particular spent an extended length of time experimenting with this.

Lesson 3 : Let's illiterate with some contours and composition. Time for some fun, but hopefully not frustration, as you begin to learn how to follow the contour of an object as you keep your eyes on the object and off of your drawing. Tricky! After a bit of practice, Pat will give some tips about the composition of your pictures, and how to keep the look of your drawing interesting. We did this with apples, and the girls really got into it. They were a little discouraged at first, seeing what their pictures looked like when you look only at the object, but still, they were encouraging to each other, and to me as well :) This was where we first used our charcoal, and boy, was that a hit! They loved everything about that medium. "Wow Mom! This is charcoal? Like the backyard? Cool!" I can see we'll be using those quite a bit.

Lesson 4 : Now it's time for you to grab a shoe (or a boot, slipper, whatever ), and put what you've been learning to the test. Everything from the previous lessons comes together- lines, composition, so have some fun as you practice! One of the recurring statements from Pat is to draw what you see, rather than what you know. For example , if you're looking at a table, you realize that it has 4 legs, but you may only see 2. You know there are 4, but you only draw what you see. Pretty straightforward, right ;) Towards the end of each "class", Pat grabs her bible and connects the lesson with a verse or passage. I really liked that aspect of the course. For me, it was like a cool drink of water as I was reminded that God is in everything. Good stuff.

Who would find this resource a good fit for their families? My answer to that would be anyone who wants to add art to their studies, but doesn't necessarily have the time or ability to get into an actual class.

I really liked Pat's personable nature on camera. Often, with DVD classes, the teachers come across stiff and unnatural, but she has such a nice way about her as she teaches. It was almost like physically being in class with her.

My kids enjoyed the lessons immensely. Every day they have requested art. See The Light has a special something that the girls kind of clicked with. It worked great for me, as we could use it at our convenience, unlike a standard art class. I can happily and without hesitation recommend See The Light to any family.

As of this post, See The Light is changing up their website a little bit. But, for now, if you would be interested in purchasing these lessons, you may order a subscription for $99.99. This will get you a year's worth of lessons for your family, with 4 lessons per month. Please check the website for more information.

** I received the first 4 lessons of See The Light in exchange for my honest opinion of it.

See The Light

Ages: about 6 years and up

Price: Yearly subscription $99.99 - Check website for further information

Don't forget to stop by TOS Homeschool Crew homepage for more reviews of your favorite products!

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