Homeschool Online Art Program
Creating a Masterpiece Review
Is art one of those subjects often neglected? If so, consider the online art program Creating a Masterpiece. Its uncomplicated and friendly approach is bound to help grant art enduring status in your homeschool.
What We Received
What to Expect
Creating a Masterpiece is an online art program offering an ample library of streaming video lessons for children of all ages. It’s organized into levels, from beginners to advance:
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Level 4
- Level 5
- Art in history
You may select to subscribe to just one particular level or to the entire collection (all levels.) Whichever you choose, the entire family gets unlimited access anytime.
Each level offers about 8 to 9 projects featuring a variety of art media: watercolors, charcoal, ink, pastels, gouache, acrylic, and mixed media. The upper levels offer sculpture projects in clay as well.
Each project comprises 1 to several lessons depending on how involved it may be. In turn, each lesson comprises 3 or more sections with the actual video lessons.
I’m including here some screenshots for the “Floral Medley” watercolor project in Level 1. I hope this gives you a better idea of Creating a Masterpiece’s structure:
Main project link
A detailed listing of materials, usually with helpful color swatches, appears below the video.
Scrolling further down the page reveals helpful tips, downloadable printouts, links to dickblick.com to buy supplies, lesson highlights, and a student gallery:
How We Use this Online Art Program
I intended to sit down with Super Hero to create masterpieces together. Time constraints with work duties, however, haven’t let me do so just yet. The good news is that because of Sharon Hofer’s gentle and clear instruction, Super Hero hasn’t needed me at all. I like that. It’s reassuring to see him working so independently.
I did get to preview several projects playing them on my computer while I work. To start, Sharon’s warm, friendly personality succeeds in putting the student at ease. I attribute this to Super Hero’s willingness to work all by himself. After a cordial welcome and overview of the project, she reviews the supplies. She stresses the importance of art materials indicating when it’s okay to economize with ‘cheaper’ products, and when not to. As we know, art supplies can be pricey. Still, as we also know, a masterpiece is the direct result of the quality of paints (and tools) used. Sharon thus recommends using high-quality supplies if possible, so that we can expand our artistic skills beyond what we might have experienced before.
Throughout the lessons, Sharon Hofer encourages Super Hero to apply his own creativity with specific suggestions. “If you want to add a leaf in, add a leaf.” —”If that looks too dark for you, just soften it with a bit of water.” As she moves along, she offers commentary that adds to the lesson: “Different layers of color showing through may seem like a mistake or an imperfection, but it isn’t. It’s the mark of a good painting.” These thoughtful remarks often refer to techniques like shading, textures, lines, color, and other such art fundamentals.
Do We Like Creating a Masterpiece?
Sharon Hofer makes what might seem like a challenging work, an attainable project. These are not childish-looking artworks you paint with your Crayola supplies. (No offense Crayola folks!) These are rather sophisticated projects for children (adults even!) that she not only renders doable but enjoyable and satisfying. Her step by step instruction is easy to follow. She stops from time to time to recap and tell what’s coming next. This way, Super Hero knows what to expect at all times. Personally, listening to her share short art principles throughout, makes me feel like I’m getting practical tips from a knowledgeable “insider” who wants me to do well and to know, too.
By breaking the project into sections of about 5 minutes each, she succeeds in developing Super Hero’s interest and confidence. I think the 5-minute video is truly a key element in this program for children. This way a wiggly child who can’t sit still for too long, knows he will be allowed to rest after a short time. Usually, though, he’ll want to keep going. Suddenly, the entire project doesn’t seem all that long at all!
Sharon often encourages Super Hero to produce several versions of the same piece (different colors, intensities, etc.,) that way he can select which he likes best. This reinforces the concept that art is a subjective matter. And that even though she’s much more experienced and more knowledgeable, her artwork is, in a sense, “no better” than the child’s work. —A tremendous confidence booster for the young artist, which I have the pleasure to begin to notice in Super Hero.
I like she features students’ projects in her gallery. It’s always helpful and inspiring to admire other talents. I do wish she had included the children’s ages for each piece. My reasoning: If others (and so young others) can do it, so can we.
Last but Not Least
The camera work is excellent with fine lighting and clean sound. It’s surely a professional’s job. I do appreciate the close-ups at the most opportune times, too. The video player is quite standard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the ability to go backward or forward 5 or 10 seconds. I find this feature very helpful with any type of lesson, especially with art. Nor does the player offer the chance to slow or accelerate the video’s speed, which is something we might do when revisiting lessons. Of course, these preferences of mine do not diminish the program’s quality in the least.
In a Nutshell
- Open and Go!
- Easy Prep
- Kid Approved
In Super Hero's Own Words
I like it. I like how she explains how to do each project, and I like the projects. There’s a lot to choose from like sculptures, watercolors, pastels, ink, mixed media, and a lot of other things. Overall it’s really fun! —Super Hero
If you’d like an art teacher with many years of experience teaching children to create art pieces they feel proud of, then Sharon Hofer fits the bill. Her friendly personality and clear instruction make Creating a Masterpiece quite a pleasurable artistic experience.
We did knock a couple of stars from Open and Go and Easy Prep. Any art program requires prepping and cleaning up. Creating a Masterpiece is no exception.
Want to Learn More?
If so, there’s plenty more reviews from my fellow Crew members. Or just pay Creating a Masterpiece a visit at their facebook account: