Art is such a important piece in my children’s education. They just love to draw and paint; my oldest son has even begun to sculpt a bit. Just simple clay but how I love to see him work. He has always wanted to take classes, formal art training, something to really advance and strengthen his skills. But around here there isn’t much and what there is we just cannot manage right now. Then we were introduced to Sharon Hofer and her amazing online program, Creating A Masterpiece. This is just like a formal art course but online; she provides easy instruction in a variety of media, and it is suitable of for children of any age who just want to create their own masterpieces. We received the Monthly Plan for review and wait until you some of the masterpieces that have been created since we began!
This program offers such an amazing variety of media forms:
- Soft Pastels
- Oil Pastels
- Block Printing
- Silk Dyeing
- Bombay Ink
- Conte’ Crayon
- Colored Pencil
- Copper Tooling
- Glass Mosaic
- Watercolor Pencils
- Balsa Carving
- Wood Burning
There is a Beginner level, as well as additional levels 1-5; there is also an Art in History level which I thought was really neat! You don’t have to complete one level at a time; my children bounced about on this one. We did some projects in Projects range within these from scenic drawing, to portraits, and landscapes – without a doubt there is an amazing variety to choose from! You can choose projects based on difficulty or you could find projects based on the medium being used. I think some days, if I allowed it my oldest son could spend the entire day just working on all the different projects here!
My oldest son decided he was going to sculpt a turtle the moment he saw this lesson. I wasn’t sure about this but as he watched and worked with her instruction, it was amazing how the simple shapes they began with became a turtle! There were four video lessons for this one which also included helpful hints and highlights from each lesson too. It was quite impressive how something that looked so complex was so easily broken down into simple, manageable steps. Her teaching style really ensures that our children can complete the project (for younger kids maybe will need a bit of assistance but it is definitely possible for them to create!).
Another lesson that my younger children really enjoyed was the sunflower. This lesson was meant to be done in pencil but my littler ones really enjoyed drawing and then painting, their sunflowers. There were six lessons included for this project which was a bit much for my younger ones but they still persevered to the end and had their very own sunflowers to proudly show off.
All three of my children really enjoyed a Lesson in Soft Pastel; pastels are definitely one of our favorite mediums to work with right now. So together, my oldest and his younger siblings sat and worked hard at this lovely landscape. Only three lessons this was one that each of my children really enjoyed.
I have to show off a bit here because my oldest son worked really hard on this one. He knows how much I Just love horses and so after he and I had an especially difficult day, I found him (frustrated but diligently at work) on a white stallion. This is one of the level 5 projects and is very involved. Only four lessons but this one requires quite a bit of slow work, steady hand and patience.
My oldest son (11) really appreciated her teaching style and how he felt like throughout the video she was “like a friend” with her camaraderie and banter. As she talked it kept him relaxed and at ease; he liked that he could just sketch or paint while she talked and how she wasn’t always “barking” instructions but encouraging in her words and her tone with each step in these projects.
My younger son (7) never wants to draw; art has always been something he does in a hurry so he can do something of his own choosing. But now he has his own drawing book and I can find him sketching at the breakfast table or in bed before he goes to sleep. This has really awoke a creative spirit in him that was not there before!
And my daughter (5) has just really been encouraged by this too! Even as young as she is, she has followed along with some of the simpler lessons and really enjoyed them! She loves drawing flowers and butterflies. Watercolors and pastels are her favorites; as she has completed projects alongside her brothers she has gained a greater understanding and confidence in her own abilities.
I love how each lesson is set up for our children to have success! Supply lists are provided for each project (with a link to purchase materials through Dick Blick – we got ours at our local craft store), downloads and lesson highlights and tips. We really thoroughly enjoyed this program (we still are actually!) and I highly recommend it if you have children who have a desire to learn and create. This has inspired every one of my children to see things in a different way and to try to capture some of what they see in a creative way, to share with others.
Connect to Create: Creating a Masterpiece