We love art in our family. My husband took art throughout high school, I took classes in middle school and both of my daughters seem to have the artistic bug as well. Somehow, the gene skipped over Garrett, who doesn't even like to color, but everyone else seems to have an artistic talent to some extent. When we were given the opportunity to review the monthly plan for Creating a Masterpiece, I already knew it would be a huge hit in our household.
For the purpose of this review, members of the Homeschool Review crew were given 6 months access to more than 50 lessons. The lessons offered start at the Beginner level and progress through Levels 1-5, depending on how experienced the student is. Art medium instruction offered include: Acrylic, Batik, Block Painting, Carving, Conte' Crayon, Copper Tooling, Glass Mosaic, Gouache, Ink, Mixed Media, Oil Paint, Oil Pastels, Pencil/Charcoal, Sculptures, Silk Painting, Soft Pastels, and Watercolor. Each lesson clearly states which medium will be used as well as a list of required and suggested materials needed to complete the project. On average, lessons take between 30-40 minutes to complete, although in some projects, that time is extended over the course of a few days as mediums such as paints need time to dry between steps.
|Interface makes it easy to see the projects and determine what medium it uses
For our first lesson, the Winter Cabin from the Beginner section, it was just myself and the girls working though the project. Pastels were a new medium for Ashleigh to play around with and this project was a perfect introduction on using them and we were all very happy with the outcome of our projects. We did realize we were using the wrong paper for pastels (we were using watercolor paper instead of pastel paper) but even still, everyone's picture came out nice.
|Winter Cabin - Alyssa on top, Mom and Ashleigh's on the bottom.
For our second project, we opted for one of the watercolor lessons as we were waiting on an order for the proper paper for pastels. For this lesson, Dad decided to join us and the four of us decided to try to Floral Medley together.
We did worry when Mrs Hofer started using pancake watercolors and we had tube style watercolor paints. But this turned out not to be that big of an issue and is one of the beautiful things about her lessons - Your artwork does not have to look exactly like hers and you can experiment with other media. Our tube paint worked perfectly fine and as we followed her lessons step by step, we once again came up with some really nice finished projects.
The water color projects do take few days to finish as each step needs time in which to dry, so this project took us a bit of time to complete.
This project also showed us that each of us interpret her instructions differently. None of our projects looked anything alike but each turned out nice. I was really impressed with Ashleigh's finished project as her flowers reminded me of Hibiscus flowers. It also showed that regardless of age, anyone can achieve something they would be happy to display.
|Floral Medley in Watercolor: Top - Alyssa and Dad Bottom - Mom and Ashleigh
|Working on the Peaceful Lake project with soft pastels
Soft Pastels indeed turned out to be an extremely messy process and the girls had a lot of fun. Granted, when all was said and done, both were covered head to toe in colorful streaks (as they decided to rub their smudging fingers on each other's face) but everyone had a great time working together.
|Peaceful Lake in Soft Pastel : Top - Mom and Ashleigh Bottom - Alyssa and Dad
Although, I take that back, it would be pretty easy for someone to figure out which one was my husband's.
|The Peaceful Lake has been invaded by War of the World's Alien Tripods
For more information about Creating a Masterpiece (including a free lesson using soft pastels), visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/createamasterpiece