Saturday, November 9, 2013

Creating A Masterpiece - Peaceful Lakes and Beautiful Swan Review + SAVE $5 On ALL DVDs

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Sharon Hofer owner and creator of Creating a Masterpiece is a professional artist and teacher. She has taught hundreds of students both young and old in her home town in Nebraska. Sharon's classes became so popular and due to overwhelming requests to join and a growing waitlist she decided to develop a DVD curriculum for school age students. In 2010 she began filming and now offers 5 levels of art curriculum.

A moms review:
My little artist, Gwyn, age 7, has just completed ALL of the Level 1 art DVDs by Creating a Masterpiece. Be sure to read our previous reviews on the other five DVDs. She has also completed one Level 2 DVD as well.  In this post we will share our thoughts about the Peaceful Lake Level 1 DVD as well as the Beautiful Swan Level 2 DVD. But first here is some information about Creating A Masterpiece.

About Creating A Masterpiece:
Creating a Masterpiece is a full fine arts curriculum and there are 5 different levels to choose from. Sharon walks students through step by step on each DVD. Each DVD is broken into short lessons which are around 15 minutes or so. Total time for a lesson (watching the lesson + completing the lesson task) is around 45-60 minutes depending on your child's skill level. Upon completion of all the lessons on the DVD your child will have a beautiful masterpiece to call their own. It will be a work of art that they will be proud of.  These masterpieces will not end up on the refrigerator or in a storage bin. Instead they will be something you will want to frame and display on your wall or table for years to come. Beginners will want to start at level 1 and more advanced artists may want to start at level 2 or above. This curriculum is great for all ages (including adults) and all learning styles.

I highly suggest (especially if you have younger children) that you watch the DVD through once or twice prior to starting the project. This will allow your child to absorb all the information and understand each step thoroughly before getting started. This will help ease any worries or frustration (trust me)!

Creating a Masterpiece will teach children about different techniques, medias, tools and reference tools. Children will be exposed to charcoal drawing, pencil drawing, sculpture, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, pastel painting, ink, silk painting, copper tooling and more. And more lessons are continuing to be added! Creating a Masterpiece is also a Christian based curriculum and often mentions how magnificent the World God created and everything in it is.

The supplies needed for each DVD lesson are not  difficult to come by and not overly expensive either. Should you wish to order your supplies from Blick Art Sharon even has everything broken down by lessons to make it even simpler for you. Keep in mind as you progress through your the art lessons you will begin to acquire more tools which you will be able to use over and over again so the cost for supplies will decrease. 

I personally utilize the 20% discount Micheals gives to homeschoolers (just show some kind of proof you homeschool like a declaration of intent, homeschool buyers co-op id card). Plus you can also still use a 40% off coupon on top of the educator discount. We have been purchasing the Artist Loft materials (from Michaels) which are very inexpensive and decent quality. 

Be sure to also follow the Creating A Masterpiece Facebook Page! Each month they hold a fun contest where your little Picasso's can win prizes for submitting photos of their masterpieces.

Below I have a breakdown of each DVD we reviewed, pictures of Gwyn's finished masterpieces and some more specific thoughts. Both of these DVDs were pastel creations!

Lessons in Pastel: Peaceful Lake

Pastel: Peaceful Lake
This DVD takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a tranquil Peaceful Lake scene. Out of all the level one DVDs I think this is the easiest. Children will only use a piece of paper and pastels to create this masterpiece, there is no pencil drawing in this lesson at all. Sharon walks the children through each simple step of using the pastels to add layers. Children will learn about pastels and how to best utilize them. And the concepts of foreground and background.  The materials for this lesson include pastel paper, artist tape and pastels (light pink, yellow, 4 shades of blue, 2 shades of green, 3 shades of purple and white). 

Gwyn did fabulous with this project and needed no help. We decided to share this project with some of our homeschool friends so we invited them over for art club. This was the first time any of these children had used pastels. I walked them through each of the steps just as Sharon does on the DVDs and they each created a unique beautiful masterpiece. They even gave me a sad look when I told them the first step was to break up their beautiful, new pastels. I loved how they all added their own special touches. Because we had done the project previously Gwyn actually made two peaceful lake masterpieces and each one turned out differently.

A Lesson in Pastel: Beautiful Swan

This DVD takes students step-by-step through the process of creating a Beautiful Swan using pastels. The Beautiful Swan is a level 2 DVD so it presented some new concepts like how to make the swan appear three dimensional and the importance of bounce and reflected light. It also introduced the children to a few new materials like black pastel paper, tracing paper and white transfer paper. The materials for this lesson include black pastel paper, tracing paper, white transfer paper, artist tape and pastels (black, light yellow. 2 shades of blue, dark green, purple, red and white). 

Gwyn did well with this one too. She did have some trouble with the first step of actually drawing the swan...that neck isn't as easy as it looks. We also had to improvise a little bit because I forgot to get transfer paper. Luckily my Great Aunt who is an artist taught me a trick with tracing paper so we were still able to transfer our image over to the black paper. Another thing that made this lesson so special was Sharron's message at the beginning. She reminds the children about the Ugly Duckling story, you know the one where an ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan. Well we recently read the Ugly Duckling book illustrated and adapted by Jerry Pinkney (an artist we are currently learning about). So this lesson connected with our current artist unit very nicely.
Sharon reminds children and adults that we are all beautiful and special in God's eyes.

All of the skills learned in these DVDs can easily be applied to other other creations. Encourage your children to use the skills they have learned to create additional masterpieces. 

Be sure to check out Sharon's sample videos on her website.

Gwyns review (7 yrs old):
I really liked both of these pieces. I love working with pastels they are so much fun.

Links to follow:
-Creating a Masterpiece Website
-Creating a Masterpiece Facebook page 
-Creating a Masterpiece Pinterest

Where to buy:
You can purchase these art curriculum DVDs directly off the Creating a Masterpiece website. Each lesson is $35.00 or you can purchase an entire level (6 DVDs) for $179.00.

Right now you can SAVE $5.00 off any of the DVDs!!! Be sure to take advantage of this special offer before it ends. These DVD's would make a great stocking stuff for any flourishing artist! 

*prices indicated in post are subject to change

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