In our homeschool, art is a subject that we try to give ample time to. All three of my kids love doing art, though they prefer it in different ways. Some like to just create on their own, while others like to learn from a specific art program.
Recently, my artist who most loves learning from specific art programs, PB & J Girl (8), tried out Creating a Masterpiece. We used the monthly plan, but there is also an annual plan and an individual level plan.
About Creating a Masterpiece
The lessons in Creating a Masterpiece are taught by Sharon Hofer. Hofer has a fine arts school (she’s been an art teacher for 15 years), but she wanted to extend her reach, so she created Creating a Masterpiece, an entirely online art program.
The program has several different levels:
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Level 4
- Level 5
- Art in History
Each level becomes progressively more challenging. Hofer says that the beginner level lessons can be used by children as young as four or five.
During our review period, PB & J Girl was able to complete five different projects:
Lessons in Watercolor: African Sunset
Lessons in Oil Pastel: Winter Cabin
We couldn’t find PB & J Girl’s picture of this one, but Cuddle Bug (6) tagged along for this lesson, so this is a picture of her Winter Cabin picture.
Lessons in Mixed Media: Candlelight
Lessons in Mixed Media: Italian Window
Lessons in Soft Pastel: Simply Serene
(This one is available as a free sample. Try it yourself or have your kids try it.)
I wanted to see what the higher levels were like, so I tried Lessons in Oil Pastel: Himalayan Kitty from Level 4. I found it very challenging, especially when it came to highlighting with blues and greens.
What We Liked about Creating a Masterpiece
There are so many things to love about this program!
Children learn wonderful techniques for creating their own art. Even though PB & J didn’t really like the way her trees turned out in the African Sunset picture, she loved learning the new technique of blowing through a straw to move the paint and create the trees based on where the paint blows. (I thought this was a pretty neat technique, too.)
In addition, Hofer explains the instructions step by step, so it’s easy to follow. She also breaks each project into different lessons, so the projects can be completed even when you have limited time. For instance, the Himalayan Kitty that I did was broken down into 4 different lessons. While the project itself took well over an hour, breaking the project down into lessons helped to prevent fatigue and frustration.
Finally, Hofer makes it so easy for artists to get the recommended supplies. When you click on the project you want to create, if you scroll down, you’ll see buttons for “supply list download PDF” and “purchase supplies.” The supply list gives all of the materials you need, including basic household supplies that you likely already have (such as the straw for blowing the trees in the African Sunset picture). If you click “purchase supplies”, you’ll be taken to the Dick Blick site with the price and quantity for each of the items. The items are broken down by required and recommended.
Drawbacks to Creating a Masterpiece
This is really a wonderful online art program that I highly recommend if your child is serious about art work. The only drawback is that because there are so many different mediums to use and techniques, buying all of the art supplies can get quite pricey. However, if you choose the monthly or annual membership, you can pick and choose between art projects that use the supplies you already have on hand.
We have on hand oil pastels, chalk pastels, watercolors, watercolor crayons and pencils, and charcoal pencils. Just with those basic supplies, we were able to complete many of the projects and there are many more still available to us, so the extensive supply list does not have to be a drawback.
Keep up with Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook.
I was one of 100 people to review this program. To read more reviews, click on the link below: