But when we had the opportunity to review Creating a Masterpiece's Monthly Plan, I was thrilled. Have you heard of them? I had! You see, art teacher Sharon Hofer lives in my area and is known and loved throughout the Omaha area. Well, she is known and loved in a lot more places but around here, kids actually get to take lessons from her in person. How cool is that?
I know a few of the kiddos who have been blessed by her classroom instruction and I have seen their art. Yes, those amazing pictures you see on Sharon's website of students' work are real. And they are indeed amazing. So I was intrigued to see what we could do.
About Creating a Masterpiece-
Creating A Masterpiece is an online subscription that includes choices of monthly or annual subscriptions that give you access to all levels of projects, or a Individual Level Plan that will give you access to one level for a year. If you are teaching a group of more than 5 kids outside of your immediate family, a group plan is also available. Taught by Master Artist Sharon Hofer, there are over 144 Art projects using different art mediums and teaching various art skills. Though beginner projects can be completed in one lesson, other levels range from three to seven lessons. Full lessons can take up to an hour to complete but are also broken down in shorter sections for ease of use.
There are currently 5 levels and an additional section called Art in History that covers historical periods of time in History. Each level has multiple projects that span a gamete of art types such as acrylic paints, ink, pastels, charcoal, watercolors, block printing, sculpture, and even silk dyeing. Each lesson comes with a complete supply list, as well as helpful tips and lesson highlights.
We happen to be gathering with a small group of homeschoolers on Wednesdays to just have some fun. Many days are park days but for a couple of weeks we headed to a friend's house to try out Sharon's program. Because our group was rather large we split the kids into two groups- the younger ones went downstairs to two big tables and the older kiddos stayed upstairs. Hind sight, this is a great plan, as the big kids were able to work a little faster and we were able to take more breaks with the littles to allow them to catch up or just get some wiggles out.
I had allowed one of our older kids who has worked with Sharon in person to choose our first project since she is familiar with the program. She chose the Dragonfly ink drawling with was great since supplies are limited to art paper, pencils and permanent pens such as magna pens or sharpies.
We began with watching the first 2 of 5 lessons. In this art project those lessons are broken into smaller sections as well which allow for a good stopping point for kids to catch up with Sharon's teaching. She is a Master, after all! The first lessons consisted of some basic instructions as Sharon showed the kids step by step instructions while she drew on a white board. The kids did the initial dragonfly drawing with some minor details. Even at this stage, it was neat to see how each kid took a different spin on the directions and made the dragon fly personal.
|My 9 year old!|
The following week we met, we picked up where we left off. At this point in the videos, Sharon moved to paper so the kids could really get a more detailed look at what she was doing. Some of our kiddos continued to work on what they had started the previous week while others chose to start again, this time on more substantial art paper. These lessons included more fine detail work, as well as using the permanent pens to make dots over all of their pencil drawings. The last steps included adding a detail to personalize their drawings like blades of grass and then erasing all of the visible pencil lines.
We worked about two hours the first week and about 1 1/2 hours the second week. This included time to pause the videos and talk about a few things and time to allow the kids to work on their own for a while. There are a lot of small details in the dragonflies' wings that took a while, especially for the older kids who are more detail oriented.
Neat program! I already knew I liked what I had seen from Sharon's students, but I am so glad we got to try this ourselves. Sharon is enthusiastic about what she does and that really shines through in her teaching. She give clear instructions and works at a nice, relaxing pace. Keep in mind, our project was a level 2 project and we had kids from 6-16 trying it out. Obviously our kids are not all future Picasso's but they all had fun trying. I think it is important to remind kids that God created us all with different talents and our art will all be different because of that. Yes, some of our kids have amazing talent and it will show in their art. Others maybe not so much, but the discipline they learn in trying something new is invaluable in my opinion. Plus, they may surprise you and become a budding artist after all!
We are excited to begin using this program with my 9 and 14 year old on a weekly basis. There is just so much to learn and we are eager to try a different art medium- my vote is watercolors! I love that I can just log in online and let Sharon do the teaching. It takes the pressure off mom and teaches them more than I could ever think about teaching, all from the comfort of my house.
If you are interested in what Creating a Masterpiece has to offer, I would encourage you to try the free sample project! Have fun and get ready to be creative!