Level I contains a total of 13 lessons and the first 4 are available free to anyone! Those first 3 lessons are an introduction to ArtAchieve's methods and introduce drawing lines, objects with corners, and round objects. They also give information on shading. The 4th lesson is a drawing lesson entitled The Czech Cat. You can see one of Apple's uncolored versions of it above. After reading my review, I would encourage you to go and get those 4 free lessons!
Each lesson is online on ArtAchieve's website. When you sign up for an account, it will hold your purchased lessons for one year. You can buy lessons indivdually or in a bundle. The lessons vary but most include a warm up page that can be downloaded and printed, a lesson that can be viewed as a video and as a Powerpoint presentation, and a printout of the outline of the drawing. Those are all accessible through your account. The website also offers information about each drawing and other interesting things to study to go along with each lesson. That page on the website gives the appropriate age range (if there is a specific one) and a list of lesson specific supplies. A tab at the top of the website will also take you to a specific supply list for all the lessons.
John Hofland is the ArtAchieve author and instructor. He does a great job explaining and showing the process of each drawing. He's included an informative page of FAQs on the website to give tips and further explain the methods he thinks are best. He recommends students listen to music during the lesson, and he shows them relaxation methods. During the video lessons, he shows a piece of art that gave the inspiration to the lesson, and he teaches them about it. For example in Lesson 3: The Hungarian Insects. he gives details on insects and what makes them unique. Following that short lesson, he goes over the supplies the student will need for the lesson, and then he does the relaxation exercise. Next is step by step instruction so the student can create their own drawing. All of the same information is available as Powerpoint slides. Students can use the video or the slides or both! Apple started the lessons using the videos, but recently she said the slides are easier for her so she's been using those.
|The Czech Cat|
I am so impressed with ArtAchieve! It's certainly more than drawing lessons, but Apple's artwork has shown great improvement. Not only is she drawing new things with success, she's going back and trying the lessons over and over. I think we've seen about 10 versions of The Czech Cat. Her favorite part of the lessons is that she gets to use different mediums. She's already used a variety of permanent markers, washable markers, crayons, colored pencils, pastels, chalk, and acrylic paints. Those are just the ones I've seen her using. The lessons give suggestions for the best materials to use, but it does say it's okay to use substitutions. Apple has received and purchased many art sets over the years so I think she's had all the suggested materials.
|The Owl From Bali|
Apple really likes ArtAchieve because she is able to do the lessons completely on her own. She also enjoys the freedom to move around through the lessons in any order. She's been doing the lessons in order, but she has been going back to some of them to work on the drawings further. This really is the best homeschool art program we have found so far! She is actually learning different techniques through the videos or slides and she doesn't need my non-artistic assistance. I've already seen her using some of those techniques to create her own drawings. I highly recommend trying the free lessons, and the price is very reasonable if you decide you like them as much as we do! I have a feeling she's going to want to start Level II as soon as she finishes Level I.
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