We love doing art. My children can take a handful of supplies and spend hours happily creating. Sometimes there is more mess than beauty, and I have been okay with that. However, as much as the process is enjoyed, they don’t always like what their end result is. They have something in mind, but aren’t sure how to get there. That is when great instruction, like what we have seen in ArtAchieve, comes in. Throughout the Entire Level III, we have had many things to choose from for our projects – both in subject matter and media. We used common supplies, but learned some new techniques to get specific effects. This is just what our art time has been missing.
Mr. Hofland (the instructor and creator of ArtAchieve) emphasizes that the students art is their own. There are some basic rules taught that I love. Draw with bold lines; no erasing; complete your drawing before you decide to redo it; you don’t have to like everything you draw; there are no mistakes. I love how this teaches my children to enjoy and learn from the process. To not be perfectionists in their art (oh the drama when they are!), but to focus and create for themselves, not to please someone else or compare to another’s work.
The instruction for many of the projects in Level III begin with a warm-up. With my wiggly ones, this has been helpful to move into slow-down and focus mode. Not that drawing should feel like doing math, but things go much better when we are relaxed. When they are not calm and relaxed, the perfectionism can be paralyzing. I love how the emphasis is not on copying the model exactly. The instruction is delivered two different ways (for most lessons): video or powerpoint/slides. We have had issues with our internet speed as long as we have had internet (rural living perks!). Until recently, we could not watch videos that were hosted via Vimeo, our internet was just not fast enough for it to buffer properly. The powerpoint option is great for those instances (even still if the ground is too wet, our speed is impaired, so this has been great to have). Also, with many of us working on the lessons at a time, we find ourselves pausing the video often. What we have found works best is to watch the video (or larger portion of it) then do the drawing while clicking through the powerpoint. Those that caught on quickly from the video can work ahead, while those needing a bit more instruction or time have it with the powerpoint.
As a mama of many learners, I love that ArtAchieve offers such flexibility! There are a few lessons in the other levels we would like to do. Some of these tie in with ones from Level III. You can purchase any project individually. We are working on lesson 3 of Level III, The Chinese Horse: Drawing the Horse’s Head. In Level IV, the entire horse is drawn. We can purchase this additional lesson to complete once we finish the Level III lesson. So flexible!
You probably know that we love traveling the world from the comfort of home via our lessons. ArtAchieve fits into our “travel plans” perfectly. The lessons feature art or styles from all around the globe. In the Cross-Curricular Connections, we find resources to learn more about our subject matter in areas from history to geography to literature to music. There are links to videos and websites to make this more than a drawing lesson. We love that! For our Chinese Horse lesson, we reviewed the Qin dynasty, learned of the importance of the horse in Chinese history, and more. When we did the lesson of the Eastern European Firebird, we read a few versions of the Russian and Ukranian legend and watched an animated version as well (subtitled, we like that, we’re weird and that’s okay). We listened to Stravinski and learned more about him. We can schedule the lessons as they fit when/where we are in our history studies (one of my favorite things to do).
***Speaking of slow internet, our pictures are not loading. We want to show you our finished works, hopefully they will load soon so you can see them. ***