I waffled so much about ordering this. I had originally considered Atelier, then decided it was way out of our budget. At $40 for a year of art instruction, this program was much more reasonable. I had the kids watch the sample lesson on HSBC and they all enjoyed it, so I went for it. Every single one of the kids love it so far, which is a rarity around here! I had them take turns doing their art last Friday, rather than everyone doing it all together. They actually seemed to prefer it that way. I think they were able to focus more and felt more willing to experiment without other eyes peering over their shoulders and commenting.
With our subscription we can log in to multiple computers at one time, so Grace did her drawing lesson in the kitchen while Christopher did his in our library room. James enjoyed the lessons so much that he asked to do two when it was his turn-and he doesn't usually love art projects. Rose and I did two lessons together and it was so much fun that I plan to continue my own lessons throughout the year, instead of frantically trying to catch up on dishes and laundry during art time. The equipment needed is very basic, just some paper and a set of drawing pencils. I was glad to have actual drawing pencils for shading and blending parts of the drawing.
And I was so impressed with the drawings! Grace is the one in our family that I consider "the artist", but everyone's work really impressed me! Even I was able to draw something more than a stick figure, which made me very happy.
|Rose (6) "Dinosaur in Volcano"|
|Christopher (11) "Venus Fly Trap"|
|James (9) "Venus Fly Trap"|
|Grace (13) "Caterpillar"|
|And my flying marshmallows!|
The Venus flytrap and shark lessons are available for free at Mark Kistler Draw 3D. Subscribing gives you many more options for lessons. There are step-by-step animated lessons and videos for beginners through advanced. There are also "mini-marshmallow" lessons for kids four and up. Rose and I are starting with those! For each video lesson, Mark shows you exactly what to do to get fantastic results. In the video that Rose and I watched he went over foreshortened circles, shadows, and shading while we drew our flying marshmallows and dinosaur in a volcano. I learned a lot about drawing in just 30 minutes.
The one concern I had about this program is that the drawing tends to be very "cartoony" and I wasn't sure Grace would be into that, but she doesn't mind at all. The techniques learned could obviously be applied to any style of drawing.
We all love this program and are looking forward to our next lesson!