It's a special treat to be able to review a curriculum or resource that focuses on a favorite subject or pastime, so we were very excited to be able to try projects from Creating a Masterpiece. We were privileged to receive the Monthly Plan and access to all the available lessons, so we could create to our heart's content.
Creating a Masterpiece is an online art instruction program taught by master artist Sharon Hofer. It's rather like attending a fine art school, where students learn technique and are guided in creating excellent artwork that they could be proud to show off. The video instruction course has easy to follow step-by-step instructions showing students how to create high-quality art pieces using many different media, and can be used by students of all ages. Art techniques in many media are covered, and students build mastery so they can create their own projects using the techniques learned. There is a Beginners Level, with projects that can be completed in a single session of an hour or less; and Levels 1 through 5 which are progressively more challenging, building skills and introducing new media. These projects are presented in three to seven lesson sessions. And finally, there is an Art in History section, which describes the artwork of a particular artist in history, and teaches the student how to create a similar project. This section is still being developed, with new lessons coming soon.
|Art in History lessons - some still in production!|
Lessons cover many art media, including: acrylic painting, pastels, gouache, ink, sculpture, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, glass mosaic, silk dyeing, and more.
How did we use it? Kennady chose to start with the media she was already familiar with and for which she had suitable supplies on hand. She does quite a bit of artwork on her own, and at fifteen years old, she wanted to try the more advanced projects, but with her time at a premium, she decided to start with the simpler ones in Level 1 and Level 2. We had to purchase a few supplies in order to tackle the projects she'd picked, so once we had those in hand, she branched out and tried Bombay ink, which was new for her. As she has more time, she's planning to take on some of the upper level projects.
This was the sample project she tried out before we were assigned to this review, done rather quickly with the supplies she had on hand, but it was enough to convince her that she needed this art program!
|Mountain Lake by KAT, January 2017|
And enough to inspire her to kill time one day by working on the reflection technique she learned.
|Autumn Lake by KAT, February 2017|
Another quick project completed in an afternoon while I was at work. She didn't have the right kind of paper, but worked with what she had.
|Winter Cabin by KAT, February 2017|
She used colored pencils to create her own artwork, rather than just in a coloring book.
|okayish fish by KAT, February 2017|
Her clownfish even became the subject of her own Instagram story.
|one okayish fish Instagram picture courtesy of KAT.|
Used with permission.
Kennady declined to let me get a picture of her while working, but I happened to be home when she worked on this, so I grabbed a couple of in progress photos.
Pastels can be messy! Protect your work surface!
|Peaceful Lake by KAT, February 2017|
She says this was the first time she'd painted with acrylics, although she did use acrylics on the backdrops she's painted for church plays. This is definitely a little different though!
|Caribbean Lighthouse by KAT, February 2017|
And she liked this piece so much that she decided to submit it for an art display our homeschool group had featured at the library this month.
I don't know what's up with the goofy faces, but whatever. She's clearly proud of her work!
And this was genuinely her first time using Bombay ink for an art project, so she started with one of the Beginner Level projects. Y'all, this is something a BEGINNER can do:
|Peacock Feathers by KAT, March 2017|
Upcoming projects on her wishlist (and mine) include:
And these Art in History lessons in particular. Just look at The Eagle in Van Gogh Style. Gorgeous!
Is it worth high school credit? Definitely! Obviously, it would depend on the number of projects completed and time spent, but this is high school level instruction. Kennady has completed other artwork during this school year, so those projects combined with this semester's instruction from Creating a Masterpiece will definitely show up as a credit on her transcript for this year.
What we liked best:
- Kennady says the instructions are very easy to follow and very clear. She enjoys watching the video and working along with Sharon.
- She can work on this completely on her own. (Obviously, younger students should be supervised, and may need a parent's help.)
- She is learning good art techniques that can be applied to any other project that she wants to do.
- High quality instruction, and impressive finished projects!
- In many cases, the quality of the finished piece will depend on the quality of the paint, paper, and other art supplies used. We already had a good selection of art products, and I was willing to spend what was necessary to get good quality products to add to our supplies. Sharon recommends higher quality products, and I agree. Keep the cost in mind.
- Using products other than what's recommended may work, but the finished piece may not look the same. For example, Kennady tried the Winter Cabin using pastel paper because our order of velour paper hadn't yet arrived. Her piece looks good, but she wasn't able to get the same shading and softness that the velour paper would have allowed.
Visit the website: www.CreatingaMasterpiece.com/
Pricing: See the Become A Student page for all the plans and pricing. For this review, we received the Monthly Plan, which provides unlimited family access to all projects for $39.99/month.
Recommended Ages: Suitable for all ages. Level 1 projects can be successfully completed by Kindergarten age students.
You can connect with Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook.
Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews. Crew members worked on lots of different projects from Creating a Masterpiece so be sure to check out all the reviews!
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