Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ArtAchieve {a Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

I am thrilled to tell you about ArtAchieve today.  We've been using these art lessons for kids for a few weeks, and I truly love this program.  As a Crew Leader, I received three bundles of art lessons.  I received the Entire Level I, Entire Level II, and Entire Level III.  So far, we have completed five of the Level I lessons, and two Level II lessons.

All have been wonderful.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

I don't even know where to begin in telling you what I like about these courses, so let me give you a short list, and then I can expand on some of them.
  • Video lessons (or PowerPoint), so I don't have to do the teaching.
  • Most of the supplies are inexpensive.  Copy paper, sharpies, and colored markers are enough to do a big percentage of the projects, especially for Levels I and II.
  • John (the instructor) is wonderful at encouraging the students to make decisions, to work with their mistakes, and to not be comparing their work to others.
  • The folk art aspect brings in some fabulous opportunities for learning about other countries, cultures, and many other cross-curricular activities.
These three cats?  This was the very first project, and I ended up with my 10, 15 and 17 year olds doing it.  The only supplies needed were paper (we did use glossy paper), a black sharpie, and colored markers.  You can see that they each did their own thing with it, and all of them are interesting to view.

One child wanted to really go for a background, another liked it without any background at all.

The toes on the cat are interesting.  There was a sample given, but in the video, John makes his toes go a different way.  It's one of many places where you get the subtle message that "messing up" is okay.

This lesson is available for free if you register for an account.

Our most recent lesson was inspired by this little nightlight.  Made from recycled glass, this is something I'd love to have in my home.  This was found in Ecuador, and the cross-curricular activities are really interesting.  One is to read a book about Jim Elliot and other missionaries, when they tried to contact the Auca tribe.  We were already listening to a biography of Elizabeth Elliot, so we chose this particular project because of how it tied into our studies.

There are also activities including a link to a video about Ecuador, music from Ecuador, a lesson on geographical aspect, and a page showing dragonflies and damselflies that are native to Ecuador.

In the art lesson, you start off with some rules, such as the idea that you cannot judge whether you like your piece or not until you are finished, and that professional artists don't like everything they do either.  There is also a warmup for each lesson, such as the completed one pictured here -- the first and third columns were printed, the students were to copy the basic lines into the empty boxes below next to them.

Each warmup is unique to the piece being worked on, so the students get some practice with the basic shapes and lines of this specific work.

Then you work through drawing the dragonfly onto watercolor paper (this is the first project that called for something other than copy or glossy paper).

Thomas came up me and told me that if I was using this photo, I needed to include this:

"In this program, they highly encourage you to not just redo your work, but to use what marks you made and do something with it.  Instead of it being a mistake and me throwing away the art piece, he encourages me to work with the lines I have and still end up with a completed piece of art."

Thomas messed up one of his body circles, so it was too skinny, and he really hated it.  Eventually, he realized that he could make that circle more circular, and then put a stripe down the other body segments.

Once the sharpie drawing is done, this project involved using oil pastels to color in the dragonfly, and some background, if they wished to do that.

We watched the rest of the video at this point, through the watercolor painting, so that we all knew where we were going with the entire project.

I didn't get a photo of him with the oil pastels, but I was able to snap this, right as he was about to start on the next step, which is the watercolors.

The video explained that if he wanted things to be white, he would need to do a white oil pastel in that space, as the oil will resist the watercolor.

This was his final result.  There was an optional step to add glitter glaze, and Thomas hasn't yet decided if he wants to do that or not.

I think it looks really great, and he ended up liking the end result.

Then we were able to dig into some of the other suggested activities, like learning more about dragonflies and listening to a poem about dragonflies. 

We've done a whole lot of different projects, including working on some with a group of friends.  Yes, that is a total of ten kids, ages 3 to 15, all drawing fish.

We plan to continue through all of the lessons for Levels I-III, and then we are planning to purchase Level IV (and Level V eventually as well).

When you purchase either an individual lesson, or a bundle of lessons, you have access to that lesson for a year. 

Go check out what other Crew Members thought!  As for my household, we love this program and are so grateful we had the chance to use it!

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

Crew Disclaimer

No comments: