I posted recently about the figure drawing class we were taking with Craftsy and how surprised I was at the inspiration we found through it.
What I didn’t get to include was my daughters’ continued interest in drawing afterwards. Both kids have been drawing more than usual. And more realistically. Maia worked on a detailed self portrait shortly afterward and drew a very expressive dog. Daphne, at four, alternates between her usual stylistic drawing and the more realistic drawing styles she is picking up.
Since then, we’ve started taking another online art class.
This one is Mixed Media Essentials and has us exploring color, design, and texture as we create a triptych: one black and white artwork, one monochromatic, and one full color.
I wizened up and got the Craftsy app for my iPad (free) and so we’re able to follow along on the lessons from our kitchen table (which doubles as our family art table).
We start and stop it regularly, watching snippets then drawing or painting or doing a texture rubbing then watching a bit more.
As I mentioned before, I had never considered taking a video class like this but it’s really quite convenient (I was about to say “for a busy mom” but aren’t all moms busy?).
We only take in what we have time and energy for then pause the art teacher in mid-sentence to be resumed after lunch or after the park or just whenever we’re ready.
These lessons are meant for adults, but we were able to adapt them for our family just fine. A tween or teen could watch and learn from them on his or her own but with younger ones you’d probably want to consider the class for yourself (even if they watch it with you) and engage the trickle down effect.
Here’s how I was able to take the art lesson I wanted to while also including my four- and eight-year-old children:
Tips and suggestions for sharing online art classes with children
- Watch the potentially more “boring” intro on your own; don’t let that set the tone for your kids’ reaction
- Use the Craftsy app for portability (a laptop would work as well)
- Set out materials for the whole family
- Use the materials you have. Supplement a bit if you like with a trip to the art supply store, but don’t feel like you need to buy everything on the materials list
- Invite your kids to join you at the table but don’t expect them to necessarily follow the step-by-step instructions of the lesson. Let them use the materials in their own way or do their own version of the techniques presented. There is no right or wrong way to create even if you are following a teacher’s example. The kids will be learning at their own level even if it seems like they are doing something completely different. Depending on age and personality, they may watch parts of the video with you and try to follow along with their art OR they may do their own art altogether. Whatever the case, they are likely to absorb some of what you’re doing what the video is teaching and incorporate some of the ideas and techniques into their own artwork.
- Break the class and lessons into mini lessons. Stay flexible and be ready to call it a day (or let the kids wander off while you complete a lesson by yourself).
Craftsy online art classes are convenient, effective, and affordable.
The nice thing about Craftsy is that you can pause a video lesson at any time, head to the playground or go prepare lunch, and resume at your own convenience. We’ve had many mini sessions this way. Sometimes we leave the materials and projects set up all day and just come and go here and there throughout the day.
The other great thing about using video courses is the visual immediacy. You get a real person teaching and talking and demonstrating techniques right in front of you and encouraging you to try them out. I think this can be much more effective than trying to learn drawing techniques from words and static images in books.
We’ve only tried a couple of the art classes so far (figure drawing and mixed media essentials) but there’s a whole world of crafty classes to explore! Painting wildlife, drawing anime style, cooking Thai food, travel photography, cake sculpting, knitting lace hats, and even “design your own monster”. Some are free mini classes (like the figure drawing class we took last time) and the rest are quite affordable at between $19 and $39 each.
Can you tell that I’m excited about this? I’ve put off taking the art and craft classes I’ve wanted over and over these past several years because of time, logistics, money, childcare, etc. But with online art classes like these ones at Craftsy, I can bring the classes to me, work them around my family’s schedule, and even include the kids if I want.
Would you consider taking online art classes either by yourself or with your family? What have you been wanting to learn?
Mixed Media Essentials Class on Craftsy
Craftsy is giving away their Mixed Media Essentials art class (normally $29.99) to two Artful Parent readers. To enter this giveaway, visit this link on Craftsy and join using your email address or Facebook. Giveaway now closed.
Update :: Craftsy is offering this Mixed Media Essentials class for half off to Artful Parent readers through 11:59 pm MT on April 3rd.
This post is sponsored by Craftsy; all opinions expressed are my own.