Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in
exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I
compensated in any other way.
I have a son, Mr. Imagination, who loves to draw and wants to learn more about art. When we were offered the opportunity to use the Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course Plus 3 Bonus Courses from Beyond the Stick Figure Art School, he was very enthusiastic. This sounded perfect—a step-by-step, incremental guide to art.
The first several lessons went very well; both he (age 8) and Little Miss (age 5) loved doing the projects, and even Mr. Sweetie (age 10) joined us. We learned about circles and dots, and curved lines and straight lines, and practiced looking for these in objects around the house. We drew circles on paper, and made pages of bubbles, then colored them in with markers. We drew designs with each of the other components of pictures, too, and colored pretty designs. Then, we started drawing flowers. I really liked the projects where we drew a flower in the foreground and then more behind it! I have never considered myself an artist, but I could do that!
As we moved on, however, my little ones got bogged down in the repetition. We ended up skipping a large section of lessons so that I could see what the rest of the course was like, in order to tell you in this review, and found a project that they liked better. We got to draw hills, cover the nearest one with grass, and paint the picture with a watercolor wash. Everyone enjoyed that! Unfortunately, because of the lockdown due to COVID 19, we did not have proper watercolor paper. We had to use printer paper, because that’s all we have (we were not able to get more because it’s nonessential), and it doesn’t work well with watercolors.
We also were not able to get the markers that are recommended. I think if we had been able to, the earlier projects would have been much more satisfying. She recommends Prismacolor markers, and they aren’t sold in this country anywhere that I could find, even without lockdown, so I bought the only ones I could find. They were washable, which means the color ran and mixed in ways we didn’t want it to. If you want to use this course, try to find the proper markers (if you live in America, they are on Amazon—shipping is much too high for me to be able to get them that way here).
Anyway, back to the course. The next section, which we haven’t done anything with yet, is about watercolor painting. It looks fun! Even though my little ones are tired of this course, because of the constant repetition, I think I can interest them in the painting part of it. I watched a few of the instructional videos, and in them she was teaching how to create different tones of paint. Once we are able to get watercolor paper, I want to try this. As with all the other lessons, these techniques are taught baby step by baby step.
Further lessons cover acrylic painting and sculpture. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to those lessons. They sound interesting; it’s just that Mr. Imagination feels pretty bored with the lessons we have done. I feel like this course, although it is simple enough for young children to do, would be better for older ones who can understand the need for repetition.
All the lessons are presented as 1-10 minute videos, with the instructor, who happens to be a homeschooling mother herself, talking through what she is doing and wants her students to be doing. She has a lovely British accent (and I can now tell the difference between British and Kiwi!). We did have some issues with the videos. The worst simply had to do with our computer. These videos are from Vimeo, and my computer often freezes when I play Vimeo videos. We had to do a lot of reloading to make them work. Also, the sound is very quiet on some of them, and even with our speakers plugged in, we had to strain to hear her talking. Here is a picture of our dashboard. It is very easy to move from one lesson to the next, although we have to mark each one complete in order to move on. It’s extremely easy to go back to a previously completed lesson!If you have a child interested in art, this might be something to look into. It certainly is easy to use; just watch a video to see what materials you will need for a given section, then move on and watch each instructional video and follow directions. Click the image below to read what 80 different families have to say about this course.
Thank you for the review. We love to make our students happy, so here are some tweaks we have made based on recent reviews:
1. All course videos are open and do not require sequential completion–although we still recommend it.
2. We contacted Vimeo and they have improved the video experience by installing volume control and full screen options on all videos.
3. We added more options to drawing part 2 to help it move along more quickly for younger students.
Beyond the Stick Figure Online Art School
NZ Filbruns says
Thank you. Those changes will make the course much better.