I have never considered myself an artist. I can draw simple stick figures, but even those aren't all that great. My husband can look at something and then draw it. He drew me pictures of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite movie, when we were dating. Then our oldest, who's in high school, starting doodling. He had pictures in his mind of characters from the book that he was writing. He wanted to try to get them down on paper. When we heard that we were given the chance to review the online Drawing Program by Creating a Masterpiece, I went to talk with him about it. He was leary at first, but I convinced him that he might just learn some new techniques to help with his drawing. He decided that it was worth a try.
I remember when I taught in the public schools. I would begin each year with a lesson of strengths and weaknesses. It was sort of a pep talk about how we are are different and we need to embrace those differences. I would let them in on a little secret - I CAN'T draw. I would try to draw certain things, but no one could figure out what they were. Or it looked like a 4 year old drew it. I taught my students to applaud when someone tries to do something that they are not very good at. Surprisingly, whenever I would try to draw something to demonstrate a point I was making, my students would congratulate me on trying (it was very sweet). I was willing to make myself vulnerable about my non-existent drawing skills, and that made them be willing to be vulnerable with me with their weaknesses.
My opinion of myself as an artist, has now changed, thanks to Creating a Masterpiece. I mean, look at what I made!
Yep! I drew the Simplicity picture in pencil. I wasn't brave enough to tackle anything other than pencil for my first go-around, so I stuck with pencil. I LOVE how it turned out! Teacher Sharon is so sweet and encouraging. She makes it seem so easy to draw. I can't believe that I did this! I kept showing my family because I was so proud! Sharon talks about how to hold the pencil, what the 6B pencil means (it's a softer pencil), how to use your finger or tortillon to blend your marks, and so many other techniques. Did you hear me say "tortillon"? Yep, I'm an artist now and I say artistic things now (ha ha ha). She taught about perspective and how things look lighter the farther away it is. She doesn't just teach how to draw trees, grass, and hills. She teaches art techniques that you can use in other applications.
Our high schooler failed to see that. Here's what our 15 year old son had to say,
I would say that the classes are definitely for a different type of artist than what I am. It had a lot of good information for that type of artistry. For example, it had a lot of art about different parts of nature. Its style was very simple and classic, as if you were going to make a painting. For artists that prefer that type of painting or drawing, this is definitely the class for them. I'm just not one of those. I prefer to draw things that are in my head and not in the world. I did learn that drawing smaller pictures are easier than bigger projects. I also learned that I need to practice using the pencil lighter so that it's not so dark on my picture.
I like what he drew! He wants to learn how to draw robots, monsters, creatures, etc. I told him that he needs to take the techniques in these drawing lessons, and apply them to his own drawings. We talked about shading and how drawing with different darknesses will bring out his pictures even more. He reluctantly agreed (he didn't want to admit that Mom was right too quickly, right?) I think that I will need to sit with him and point out the techniques that she is teaching, so that he sees that there is so much value to these lessons.
These lessons are great! Each drawing gives you a supply list that is needed for the project. There are videos to watch to teach you how to complete that project. It seems as though it would take forever to complete a picture. Nope. For the project that I did, there were 6 videos. The first video was just over 6 minutes, while each of the other videos were under 3 minutes each. The checklist person that I am loved this! I could check off in my brain, done with that part! It helped to see the drawing split up into parts as well. If you didn't have time to complete the whole project in one sitting, there is an easy way to go back to where you ended.
Here is a picture of the view that you see in the video. I like that we had an up-close view of what her hands were doing. I caught myself watching her hands so that I would know how to hold the pencil correctly.
I would stop and start the videos if I needed more time or if I got interrupted (which NEVER happens with a 15, 10, and 3 month old around the house...he he he). I felt comfortable to make mistakes and try new things with it being online and not in an actual real-life classroom.
Teacher Sharon makes you want to try because she is so calm and sweet about how she teaches. She explains what she is doing and why she is doing it. I can't wait to do another drawing from the online Drawing Program by Creating a Masterpiece. I might just try charcoal next!
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