Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Making Masterpieces

Art gets sorely overlooked in our house so when I get a chance to write a review on an art related curriculum I jump on it.  Such was the case with the Master Kitz- The Starry Night  from

What started off as a volunteer program at a local preschool, Kidzaw has turned into a growing business.  They also offer Master Scultpz kits, Art on the Go and Color on the Go kits,as well as Art Parties.  Reasonably prices and all supplies included, these art kits are a great way to teach about great artists and art history as well as art principles.

The Starry Night kit includes two large pieces of heavy art paper, templates, acrylic paints, pastel oils, two paint rollers and detailed instructions.  The front page of the instruction is dedicated to the instruction of who Vincent van Gogh was and what his art was about.  Consider it a mini history and art lesson all in one.  Facts include where van Gogh was born, how he became an artist, and how he created the style we now call Post-Impressionism.  Did you know that in 1990, one of van Gogh's painting sold for 82.5 million dollars?  Wow!

As for the instructions, these fold open to reveal a 12 step process to create your rendition of The Starry Night.  Each step is broken down in small parts and shown with words as well as colored pictures.  My son, age 11 and in 6th grade, had no problem reading them and following them himself though I did sit beside him during the process.

Our thoughts and experiences-

Colby is not much of an art kid either, so it took a little convincing to get him started on this project.  I finally just pulled it out and told him we would try and if he hated it I would finish it by myself.  Spoiler alert- I did NOT finish it by myself.  As a matter of fact, I did nothing- he did it ALL.  Yep, typical kid, huh?

As soon as he opened the kit box and saw the cool rollers he was all in.  Hey, whatever It takes!  We immediately taped down the paper to our kitchen counter ( the instructions advise putting paper under but I knew our counters would clean up easily).  We then opened all the bottles of paint and he began reading the instructions.  Step by step we worked our way through the instructions, pausing only to wash our hands once or twice.  All in all, the complete project took us about 45 minutes.  Drying time is mentioned a few times, but it seemed that each time we were ready to start the next step the paint was dry enough to proceed.

I thought Colby's favorite part would be the paint rollers, but as it turned out he loved using the pastel oils to customize the painting.  When you follow the instructions there is not much chance for much variation.  After all, you are trying to reproduce a famous painting.  But in steps 11 and 12 you are encouraged to add some finishing touches using the oil pastels.

We did take some time to talk about what we had learned about on the double page spread entitled The Style of Vincent van Gogh as we worked.  Things like how up close the work may look blurred and much different that when you view it from further away.  We also each took turns holding his finished piece further away to see if that was true in our case as well.  Yes indeed, up close very few details are visible.

We ended our project by hanging it proudly in our kitchen area where it can be seen by all who enter.  Colby even asked if we could possibly frame it to hang up.  Pride in his work-I would say that is a sign of a good art kit!

And funny story- his 16 year old brother came into the room later on in the day, saw the painting hanging, and called me over privately to ask the question- "How in the world did Colby paint that?  It is good!"  We might let him try the next one we do! ;)

You can watch demonstration videos and see more art from other kids on the website!

50 other reviewers took advantage of this great opportunity to have their kids create a masterpiece.  You can see their finished work and read their reviews by clicking on the banner below.

Master Kitz The Starry Night { Reviews}

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