Friday, April 22, 2011

See the Light Art Class on DVD Review

As part of my responsibilities as a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the first DVD in the nine DVD set of video art curriculum focused on drawing from See the Light.  The complete set of 36 lessons on 9 DVDs is available for $99.99.  Each lesson is 15 to 20 minutes in length which is direct instructional time.  Only basic art supplies are needed as stated in the material that was provided to me and the art lessons focus on drawing.
Based on information from the vendor, the art lessons are appropriate for a wide range of ages, grades 1 and above.  Based on my own opinion, I would recommend the art lessons for upper elementary and above.  While I did not have access to the entire DVD series, from what I saw, the series could be quite instructional for older children, teens, and adults.  Nothing in any of the lessons that I previewed was babyish and, at least my children, would not have been ready for the drawing instruction given in the DVDs in the primary grades.  With an added art history paper, I would feel comfortable using the DVD course as a high school elective in drawing.  

Detailed information about the contents of each lesson can be found here.  The first four video art lessons focus on:
  • Tools of the Trade - Learn the basics of what makes a drawing.
  • It All Starts With A Line - Learn about drawing different line qualities and the most essential skill of drawing, contour drawing.
  • Contours & Composition - You'll learn some tips to place items in a drawing to get the best results.
  • Draw What You See - You'll take a common everyday item - a shoe - as your subject for a completed contour drawing.  
Before I go any further in my review, I wanted to let my readers know that you can request the exact same DVD that I'll be talking about in my review FREE of charge from See the Light.  Just follow this link to request your FREE DVD of the first four lessons on DVD.  If you are even considering offering a DVD art class to your children, I would highly recommend that you request a free DVD and check out the classes for yourself.  As well, you can check out previews of the first three lessons immediately here.

In previewing the first four lessons, I was very impressed with the quality of the video, the upbeat personality of Pat Knepley, and the obvious artistic talent demonstrated in her drawings.  The drawing instructions were quite clear and I also felt that the pace of the videos was not too fast and not too slow.  One of my very favorite aspects of the DVD that I previewed is the seamless integration of biblical truth into the art lessons.

I was completely enchanted by the bonus chalk art lesson included on the first DVD (the DVD with the first four lessons).  I literally sat mesmerized and watched chalk artist, Gloria Kohlmann, create an amazing chalk drawing of the three crosses on a hill.  Since Easter is right away around the corner, I decided to focus on this art project with my children.  While they have had a great deal of work in drawing basics in their art class, chalk art was completely new to them.

Their chalk art projects were amazing!  I absolutely love how their chalk art projects turned out!  They are beautiful!  Best of all, my children enjoyed the process of making their art projects and were thrilled with the results.
Mason (12)
Duncan (9)
Amber (14)
After my children worked so hard on their chalk drawings with such fabulous results, I wanted to be sure that their drawings would last.  I read on the back of our pastel chalks that a fixative can be used to preserve chalk drawings.  Mason learned in an outside art class that hairspray works well as a fixative as well so I sprayed their finished chalk drawings with hair spray.

Overall, I was quite impressed with this DVD art curriculum.  My review is only based on the first four lessons and the bonus chalk art lesson, though, so that must be kept in mind when considering my review.  As a homeschool mother concerned with having the needed materials on hand and keeping good academic records, I have a few criticisms of the art program.  Again, please keep in mind that I only had access to the first DVD - perhaps these issues were covered in one or more of the later DVDs.
  • I would like to have a printable list of ALL of the art materials needed for the entire course.  This would make planning and budgeting for supplies easier.
  • I would like to have a printable list of the scope and sequence/art concepts/skills/art history topics covered in the class for documentation purposes in our yearly portfolios.
  • Examples of student art would be motivational for younger students.  Realistically, the drawings of most children will not reach the artistic standard as shown in the videos.  I think showing finished drawings/projects completed by children of various ages would allow for a more realistic expectation for many children.
After the positive experience we had with the chalk art lesson, I may purchase The Gift of Love Deluxe Gift Set.  The three Christmas-themed art projects included on the DVD would be perfect for our art classes in December.  As well, the drawing course is a course that I may consider for my extremely artistic son who would like to be doing even more work in art.  The complete set of 36 lessons on 9 DVDs is available for $99.99.

I received a copy of the first DVD in the See the Light Art Class DVD set in exchange for my honest review of the product.  No other compensation, monetary or otherwise, was given in exchange for this review.

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