Our Family

Our Family

Monday, March 20, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Creating a Masterpiece

When I was in school, I did not like art at all.  I did not think I was good at it, and found it to be very frustrating.  Since I started homeschooling, I have always tried to make art a priority, and make it fun.  We have used many different art resources over the years and I love when we have an opportunity to try out a new program.  I was so excited to be able to use and review the Monthly Plan from Creating a Masterpiece.

Creating a Masterpiece is an online art program for ages 4 and up taught by master artist Sharon Hofer through streamed video lessons.  This fine arts program was designed to help students create art step by step that will make them proud of their work and feel like a real artist. There are over 144 projects on the website arranged by level from  Beginner to Level 5 and Art in History. The Art in History level  features different level projects from different time periods in history. Each level has a variety of projects and use many different types of art media. Some projects can be completed in one sitting while other more difficult projects will be created over a period of time. 

The Monthly Plan ( $39.99 a month) gives your family access to all of the levels.  There are other purchasing options as well including an annual plan for all the levels ($349 per year) or purchasing one level per year(starting at $119 per year). You do not need to complete projects in any kind of order, you can pick and choose the projects that you are interested in doing.  Supply lists for the projects are available once you sign up.  The cost of each project will vary greatly depending on the type of projects you choose and the supplies you already have on hand.  Recommendations are given to buy good quality to art supplies in order to produce better results.  Some supplies such as oil or chalk pastels can be shared by multiple students while other supplies require you to have one for each student.  The supply list will tell you how many of each supply you need for multiple students.

Each project is split up into smaller lessons so you can stop and start easily.  You will find lesson tips and photos of lesson highlights for each lesson as well as downloadable high resolution image,supply list, and also photos of reference art.

You can sign up for a sample project.  No credit card information is needed.

One of the reasons I was so excited to have an opportunity to review this was because we had access to all of the levels and I could use Creating a Masterpiece with multiple children of any age.  I have been using this with my 5,7,9, and 11 year olds over the last six weeks.  We started with the Sample Project and I was amazed at how well the project turned out!

Sample Project

Lily

Emmie

Anthony

Christian

Our nearest art supply store is over an hour away, so I looked over the projects in the Beginner Level and Level One so I could make a list of what we needed and order it online.  I wanted the children to have a chance to use different types of art media and try some things that we have never done before. I had some supplies on hand already such as chalk pastels, oil pastels, brushes, and water color paper.  To complete the projects I chose for the review period, I spent around $50  and we have done 10 projects so far.  I ordered my supplies from the online art store linked from the Creating a Masterpiece site and purchased the recommended supplies.  I did not buy one type of paper because it was out of stock and just used regular construction paper instead.

Floral Medley Watercolor


I just love the variety of projects!  But I also like that several of the projects use common supplies.  I bought watercolors and we have used those twice so far.  When you look at all of the project supply lists you can see which projects use similar supplies. Most of the projects in the Beginner Level can be finished in one sitting in under an hour.  For a couple of the projects we had to wait for something to dry before we could move on to the next step.

Winter Cabin Oil Pastel


I love that even though we all are sitting in on the same lesson, no two projects look exactly the same. Each project is made their own and not a complete copycat of the example on the video.

Sailing Adventure Charcoal


I find that video instruction is a great way to teach art in the homeschool.  Creating a Masterpiece brings the expert artist into your home and allows her to teach your children.  I chose to sit down and do all the projects with the children, but with a child that is old enough to use a computer you could have them do the lessons on their own.  You also can repeat a lesson as many times as you want to.  I did not like my Italian Window drawing the first time I did it, so I went back and repeated the lesson.

Italian Window Mixed Media
Emmie

Lily

my 2nd attempt

Candlelight Mixed Media



We have had a chance to try different techniques and use supplies that we have never used before.  We made trees using straws!  We used Tombow pens ( I had never even heard of those before),  charcoal, and soft pastels.  We made a mixed media project using oil pastels and Bombay Ink.  We shaded using drawing pencils.  We have learned so much already and have had a lot of fun!

 African Sunset Watercolor

Something else I've noticed is that the children are using some of the things they have learned in their other artwork.  After we did Winter Cabin, I noticed Christian has been drawing cabins on papers everywhere and after we did the Cardinal, Lily has been drawing birds on her papers.

The Cardinal Ink




When Sharon is doing some of the drawings, she is drawing so lightly it is impossible to see what she has drawn.  I know that this is because to create your masterpiece, it is better to have the pencil line very light so that it does not show.  But I wish she would use something darker in the drawing portion while telling the children to draw lightly so we can see what she is doing. To help the children see the drawing  I printed out the lesson highlight sections that had the drawing in them and this was helpful but it would be much easier to see it on the screen as it is being drawn.  Also Sharon works very quickly and we had to pause the videos often.  This is not so easy when your hands are covered in soft pastels!  I wish more time was given to complete each section of the projects.

Peaceful Lake Soft Pastel



I asked the children to choose which one was their favorite. 

Emmie (just turned 6)

Anthony (11)

Christian (9)

Lily (just turned 8)

We love Creating a Masterpiece and look forward to making more masterpieces! We are going to try some paintings with acrylics next.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!




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