One has only to look at the what was once white walls in my kids rooms to see that Ashleigh loves to draw. Her walls are currently covered with drawings of cats and girls and butterflies and whatever other animal strikes her fancy. She loves to draw and create paper crafts and I've wanted to find her some formal art instruction to help develop her artistic talents. It worked out perfectly for us that we were asked to review the Entire Level 1 art lessons from ArtAchieve.
The lessons are taught by John Hofland who studied with the late Josef Svoboda, the famous Czech artist. Hofland went on to develop University level drawing courses before developing the ArtAchieve online lessons for homeschool students.
Lessons start using very simple materials that most homeschool families already have in their home: white paper, a sharpie marker, and washable colored markers. Later lessons introduce more advanced materials such as watercolor pencils, oil pastels, and acrylic paints.
Lessons are not strictly limited to art instruction either. One of the great things about the lessons is that they are much like mini-unit studies that provide lessons about the country in which the lesson was inspired. For example, one of the lessons entitled The Sheep from Wales actually provides lessons in about Great Britain. These lessons cover the countries that comprise Great Britain and then provide information about Wales itself, such as location, the Welsh language, the Capitol city of Cardiff, the sheep of Wales and the wool they provide. Lessons also provide suggestions for other resources to incorporate in with the lesson to provide cross-curricular connections for math, science and history such as books about the region, literature suggestions, and writing assignments.
How We Used It:
ArtAchieve was generous and gave us full access to the Entire Level 1 art lessons for a period of one year. The Entire Level 1 lesson offers a total of eleven lessons - the first two lessons are offered free of charge to allow you to get a feeling if Art Achieve is right for you. The other nine lessons can be purchased individually or as a bundle.
Lessons always suggest listening to relaxing music while doing the lesson as well as doing a warmup to get you ready. The kids had already gotten use to listening to relaxing classical music during our school lessons so this was easy for us to incorporate.
We began the lessons for the very beginning at Lesson 1. Lesson one is a multi-session lesson that teaches basic line drawing and shading both angular and round objects. The line drawing lesson consisted of three actual assignments for different levels: Easy, Medium and Advanced. Ashleigh flew through the easy level pretty quickly and also through the medium. She also did equally well with the Advanced lesson - line drawings weren't much of an issue for her. However, the shading proved to be a bit harder for her, especially the angular shading lesson.
Other lessons start with a Warmup which includes practicing various parts of the lines that are included in the project. We used these often, however, I noticed that when it came to her final drawing, Ashleigh tends to improve and make the project her own. So far, she has completed the Czech Cat, the Hungarian Bugs and the Haitian Geckos. In addition to creating her own artwork, she had really enjoyed learning about the inspirational piece of art that inspired the art lessons and wants to create similar sculptures later down the road.
When asked what her favorite piece so far has been, she quickly stated the Hungarian Bugs. Here she is posing with her picture and I think her look says it all.
ArtAchieve offers five different levels of online art instruction, each slightly more advanced than the previous level. Individual lessons can be purchased for a one year license from $4 to $11, depending on the level, or you can purchase all the lessons for each level bundled together for a discounted price.
I'm looking forward to sharing more of Ashleigh's artwork (and Garrett's too as he has suddenly shown interest in doing the lessons as well) in the future and as she progresses we will probably revisit each lesson at least once while we have access to them to see how she progresses. We're absolutely thrilled with ArtAchieve and will continue to use their product as part of our art curriculum in the future and who knows, it just might help get us our security deposit back once we repaint her bedroom walls ;)
For more information about ArtAchieve, visit them at their website or at one of these social media platforms:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/artchieve @artachieve
ArtAchieve was very generous and allowed 100 members of the review crew access to one of three levels offered on their website. Be sure to click the banner below to read reviews for all three levels.