I have been meaning to post a little bit about the art resources that we have at our house. My dd loves art so much that I am always collecting art programs in the hope that I will never run out of things to do. Myself….I am not artistic in any sense. I never made it past drawing stick figures and the one time I attempted some sort of clay sculpture in elementary school it did not turn out so well (my dinosaur looked much more like a dog than anything else).
I have Artistic Pursuits, Mark Kistler online videos, Atelier Art, Drawing with Children (by Mona Brooks) and Meet the Masters online program. And, I use them all.
Atelier has been a recent addition to our homeschool. I bought the art prints and level 1 program (ages 4-6) for my dd. We have done several lessons so far and I feel like I have a decent grasp of the program. Let me begin by saying that I love the DVD aspect of this program. All I have to do is read about what materials she will be using for that lesson, pop in the disc, and then have her go at it. There is so little parental hands-on involvement that this is a great program for families that love art, but so rarely get around to doing it due to time issues.
What I don’t particularly care for is that this is a program that is aimed at a classroom environment. During the video segments you are shown children in a classroom completing a portion of the project which I think is somewhat distracting. I would prefer it if the video only showed the art teacher. I am also not in love with their lesson plans. I do not find the plans particularly helpful beyond what materials are used in each lesson.
The instruction on the DVD is very clear. The children are taught art terminology in a gentle manner and technique is covered as well (eg. don’t mash the tips of the brushes, rinse your brush in between each color). What I was surprised to find is that there is no mention of sculpture in this program and there is just very rudimentary print making. In that respect, I think that Artistic Pursuits is a stronger program.
I mentioned that I also bought their art prints and I am so glad that I did. Right now we do a very informal art study – I simply have my dd pick another print to put in our picture frame every Friday. While she is choosing which picture that she prefers we talk about the subject matter and what colors are used in that particular work. Very simple. The art prints from Atelier are 8″ x 10″ and I believe that there are 10 prints per pack.