Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ArtAchieve (A REVIEW)

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
We love art, and we recently had the opportunity to review the Entire Level 1 bundle from ArtAchieve. This is an online art program, and we were given a 1 year license. The lessons are in step-by-step video format, but they also have the option for a slide format if video is too fast or doesn't work for your families' style. We tried both, and both can be useful in their own way. The video worked very well for us. We liked to hear the instructor talk as we worked.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

ArtAchieve has more than just art included with their lessons. Each lesson has some geography and history packed into it as well. The lessons are titled "The Hungarian Insects", or "The Dragonfly from Ecuador." These titles mean that the artist(s) will also be learning about that country or region. We also learned about the history of the particular thing we were drawing or making, where it came from, and its importance.

Working on the warm-up before we did the Czek cat
How does a lesson work? Each lesson starts off with an introduction of what you'll be creating, and the inspiration for it. Then, the history lesson. He talks about the history of a "gecko", for example in the Haitian Gecko lesson. He then explains what is needed with a list of supplies to get prepared to draw. Followed by a relaxation exercise. He encourages some quite relaxing music during the lesson, and always goes over the rules for drawing. Then it's warm-up time. A warm up is available to download and needs to be handy for the lesson. After the warm-up he moves into the drawing lesson. This is the bulk of the lesson, and needs to be paused frequently so that all artists can keep up (he even mentions this in each video). When the drawing is complete he continues on to show some ideas for coloring the drawing. What I love about how he does this is he always says this is how I do it, but you color it your way, allowing for much creativity.

Alex working on his Czech cat.

One of the projects we worked on was The Czech Cat. All of my kiddos participated in this one (high school on down to Kindergarden). It was a fun lesson. It amazes me how easily art can be done so easily with so many different age and skill levels. I always enjoy this time with my kids, and ArtAchieve is one of those great programs that is flexible for all ages. We had a great morning sitting around the table, and watching the video.

Aric's completed Czech cat
I let the children complete the coloring in their own way, and I didn't try to interfere too much when they didn't want to draw the lines the same exact way the instructor did. Especially with the little ones.
Alex's completed Czech cat.
April's completed Czech Cat.
Aaron's completed Czech cat. Notice how he had the freedom to create this project in his own way.
I made our cork bulletin board the display for all our ArtAchieve projects.


Another project we worked on was "The Dragonfly from Ecuador". I did this lesson too! All the lessons are just as great for adults. This project was interesting because it used both oil pastels and watercolors. I enjoyed working with both and seeing the effects of wax resist on the paper. I like how ArtAchieve uses a variety of different mediums throughout the art lessons. I also like how the lessons do not have to be followed in order. Any lesson can be done independent of the others, so we skipped around. We did lesson 5, lesson 10, etc. This particular lesson is lesson 5 from the level 1 bundle.

Aric's completed dragonfly.
I really enjoyed this lesson, and I felt challenged even as an adult. I am still learning to like the things I create, and not judge them until they are all the way done, which is one of the rules in the ArtAchieve videos. It's great advice.

My completed dragonfly.

Aaron who is 10 really liked this program, and did well with it. He says, "I liked drawing cool stuff." That is all I could get out of him right now, but each lesson he kept saying how much he loved doing it. It could be that he really loves art, but it also could be that the way the lessons are laid out and move step-by-step work really well for him. We have done some art programs that don't work well for him because they don't challenge him, etc.

Aaron's completed dragonfly.

The next project we worked on was Four Suns with Four Faces. I never had so much drawing a picture of a sun before! I really learned a lot about the use of hot and cold colors and how they can work together.

My completed sun.

Here is a screen shot of the description of the lesson open in my browser. There is a lot included in these description pages too. It covers exactly what the lesson is covering, and places with more information. There are links for the science about suns, the artist Pablo Picasso, and lots of other educational ideas that revolve around this lesson. This page is accessible to anyone. There is also a student art gallery from kids who have completed this project.

Screenshot (5)
Screenshot for the four suns lesson.
Aaron's completed sun project.
Aric's completed sun.
Overall I think this would be a great choice for any grade or level for a homeschool art curriculum. Even parents! This would also be a great way to study geography. If you plan on "traveling" around the world this could be a great addition to your studies, or maybe even the introduction to each country for a fun start. The instructor is very thorough, and his voice is very calming. The lessons are easy enough to follow, and make you feel as if you are an artist yourself.

If you want to hear what others have to say about this art curriculum click on the banner below.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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