Friday, April 22, 2011

See the Light - Art Class (TOS Review)


Like most kids, my girls love creating.  For some reason I find it challenging to make time for art - that's one reason I was excited to learn we'd be reviewing a sample of the art lessons from See the Light.  

We received the first DVD (Volume 1: The Basics) in the1-year Art Class DVD set, and immediately upon starting the DVD the girls were hooked.  

Product Details 

Art Class includes 9 DVDs, with each DVD containing 4 regular lessons for a total of 36 regular lessons. The first three DVDs also include a bonus lesson.  The Art Class set is available here for $99.95.  An online subscription is also available for $10 per month, which will unlock 4 lessons per month (you can also view prior lessons). Payment by Paypal is required for the online subscription. 

The lessons contain step-by-step instructions taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley.  Each lesson is approximately 15 minutes and provides follow-up activities for more practice on the techniques taught in that lesson.

The target age for this series is 6-10, but I think that upper age range is a bit low - since I enjoyed them and learned some things, I think older kids would like them too, especially those without any practical art instruction.

What's covered on each DVD?

Volume 1 - The Basics
Volume 2 - Shape and Space  
Volume 3 - Value and Color
Volume 4 - Color Blending Techniques
Volume 5 - Proportions for Composition
Volume 6 - Texture and Form
Volume 7 - Perspective for Landscape
Volume 8 - Balance and Foreshortening
Volume 9 - The Portrait  

You can see detail on the lessons included on each DVD here or here (click on each DVD for a summary of its contents).  The DVD that we reviewed (the first in the series) included:

Lesson 1 - Tools of the Trade: the basic things you need to have on hand to be ready to draw

Lesson 2 - It All Starts with a Line: instruction on different qualities of a line and about contour drawing 

Lesson 3 - Contours & Composition: how to train your eyes and hands to be in sync and work on a composition 

Lesson 4 - Draw What You See: how to draw a contour drawing of a shoe. 

Bonus Lesson - Chalk Artist Gloria Kohlmann teaches how to draw “Cross Hill,” the art shown on The Crossmaker DVD

Find out more about the Art Class lessons in this video:

What I like

Pat's teaching style - it's friendly and engaging and, most importantly, easy to undersatnd.

I like the step-by-step instructions.  I was very impressed with what the girls were able to do after only watching the DVD once.  Check out their very first attempts:




I like that it gives the girls confidence to draw- just look at those smiling faces! 

My favorite thing is that this is an art curriculum that we can and will actually use.  I have a couple others that sit on the bookshelf and taunt me. 

I wish...

There was an optional workbook containing more practice suggestions for each technique, and perhaps providing more information on the art history topics that were covered in the lesson.  I know they use "no workbooks ever" as a selling point, but we like workbooks!  I know I could find these things myself, but with my work schedule I like having the option to pay someone else to do it for me!  

While I love the Biblical application and devotions provided by the artist, I wish it could be done primarily at the same time she's illustrating the concepts, rather than separately.  The lessons are fairly short, so the girls wanted the entire lesson to be strictly art.  Don't get me wrong - I love any and all opportunities for the girls to hear the Word - I just wish the art instruction itself would continue during the short devotion/discussion.

I hope the rest of the DVDs (remember that we only received Vol. 1) include a bit more art history.  

Watch out for

Make sure to preview the lessons to make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand before you allow your kids to view the lesson.  (I learned this the hard way - please learn from my mistake!)  While most of the lessons can be done using only pencil and paper, it does add a lot to the lesson to have the suggested supplies

Be sure to


 Click here to request the first DVD in the series for free!!

Check out other instructional yet fun stuff here 

Check  out the free lessons available here. 

Watch a replay of a recent webinar by The Old Schoolhouse and See the Light here - watch quick, as I believe this webinar will only be available for about six months.  The webinar will give you much more information about the course and the topics included, plus there's a discount code mentioned!

Be sure to watch the website for new products - I understand Art Class 2 (along with several other  is in the works! 

Check out the Bible story DVDs, containing a Bible story told through art and art lessons.  Available now are The Crossmaker (the story of Easter, which includes lessons on creative lettering, chalk pastels and water color) and The Gift of Love (the story of Christmas, which includes lessons on creative lettering, colored pencils and chalk-art techniques).  I understand more Bible story DVDs will be available soon.

Final thoughts

This is the first art curriculum that I've felt really comfortable with.  The girls can learn art techniques without waiting for me to get my act together (other than making sure I have the correct items on hand for them to use), so they're thrilled! 

I'm putting the complete Art Class series on my wish list.  When I get it, I'll bless another family by sharing the duplicate Volume 1 we'll receive with the set.

Thoughts of my crew mates

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

1 comment: