See the Light {review}

When it comes to drawing, I am pretty much a stick and circle kind of girl and other times abstract is my middle name. Despite this, what I put down on paper is art because ART is something that is determined by the person viewing the ART. What I see as art may not be viewed as art by another and vice versa. One thing I think we all can agree on is the art created and presented in the See the Light Art Class club meetings is definitely art that you can draw too…with a little practice.

Master Artist Pat Knepley is one of seven specialty artists on the See the Light (drawing children to Him) team that present Biblical based art classes, music, and books for young people (6 and above, but my four year old also enjoyed it) and their families. The main product of the company is their art class series which teaches a wide range of skills to bring out the true artist in you while also sharing the Word of God throughout the lessons. In her instruction, Pat makes note of God as the master creator who created everything out of nothing.

There are nine volumes in the Art Class series, each that cover a specific topic related to drawing which include:

  Volume 1 – The Basics

Volume 2 – Shape & Space

Volume 3 – Value & Color

Volume 4 – Color Blending Techniques

Volume 5 – Proportions for Composition

Volume 6 – Texture & Form

Volume 7 – Perspective for the Landscape

Volume 8 – Balance & Foreshortening

Volume 9 – The Portrait

{For a limited time, get the same volume we reviewed for FREE!}

Each volume is broken up into four lessons (read more about the individual lessons) that further instruct the student step-by-step on how to achieve the covered topic of each volume. There are a total of 36 art drawing lessons which can be covered over one school year.

We had the opportunity to review Volume One of the series which covers the basics of drawing. Pat is the instructor for the art class series and her knowledge of the art of drawing is quite evident (I guess that’s why she’s a Master) and her engaging personality comes through while she teaches the lessons.

As mentioned before, each volume is broken up into four lessons and we were guided through each lesson with the following information taught:

Lesson 1: Tools of the Trade covers the basic tools that are needed when beginning to draw. The items Pat suggest to have before starting your drawing lesson are a #2 pencil, drawing pencil (softer), charcoal pencil, black Sharpie marker, set of color pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons 16+, eraser (white eraser because it doesn’t make marks), and a kneaded eraser (it’s like silly putty which you can shape allowing you to get into small areas to erase and also you can smudge with it). All of these tools are what you need in your tool kit to get started. I like the statement she made about the only tool we need in our tool kit for life is the Bible.

She also covers the idea of a line being the basic element of a drawing and discusses different type of lines (sweeping, jagged, thick, etc.) one can draw as well as the two main grips (regular two finger grip and the overhand grip) that are used by artists.

Lesson 2: It All Starts with a Line takes a look at the contour drawing which is an edge or outline drawing. I would figure that this is the easiest type of/more basic drawing and what most people do (especially novices like me). Looking at any picture will tell you that all lines are not alike and it is exactly the different types of lines that give us the variety of pictures artists create.

Lesson 3: Contours & Composition helps the student learn how to plan his drawing before actually putting it on paper deciding where the drawing will go while paying close attention to the placement on the page. More interest is created when a picture is placed on one side of the page rather than in the middle which is where so many people often begin. Also, starting with light markings instead of a heavy hand allows you more flexibility if erasing is needed.

Lesson 4: Draw What You See! Shoe Project! Helps with the understanding of doing just that. So often we try to draw what things look like in our mind and that is when our pictures sometimes come out odd (or “wonky” – I know it’s not a word) looking. Placing items at eye level and only drawing what you see usually produces a well drawn picture. When drawing the shoe that we know has a buckle or shoe lace, it is not necessary to show the entire buckle or the lace, which may not be in our vision, to capture the essence of the shoe.

A bonus feature called Chalk-It-Easy with Gloria Kholmann is also included in volume one which gives instruction on using chalk as opposed to pencil to create another “masterpiece.”

My kids enjoy anything art related – drawing, glue, paint, yard chalk, you name it. We all were able to sit down and go through the lessons together. Pat’s class presentation was easy to understand, paced well enough to go through the lessons without having to pause the DVD, and we finished the volume having a better understanding of the basics of drawing as well as some terminology for some of the techniques we were already doing.

We had most of the tools already on hand that were suggested to have when you begin your drawing experience. After going through the lessons, the children moved on to their own style of drawing. We have watched the DVD a few times since

Although we were only able to review the first volume, it appears that this series is a good curriculum for the beginning child or adult who wants to learn drawing technique. I say this because even though notable artists were mentioned throughout some of the lessons, there was not much discussion of the artist themselves or the history of the art and technique.

Also, I would have enjoyed more instruction time. In lesson four, Pat has the student draw what they see (a shoe). She walks us through the steps of doing so, but Pat apparently drew the shoe outline before the lesson started. For a beginner like me, it would have been nice to see how she actually went from a blank page to drawing the outline of the shoe to putting the finishing touches on the shoe in the lesson.

As a novice with drawing, I can see that other topics taught on the rest of the volumes of the series would introduce us to valuable skills needed to create beautifully drawn pictures because we already learned a lot from volume one. Although we would benefit from each volume, it would be a plus if the volumes were offered for sale individually because every student is not at the same pace of skill as another and may not need to go through “the basics” as we did.

The Art Class is available as a DVD set for $99.99. You may also purchase the Art Class through an online monthly subscription for $10/month where the first four lessons (one volume) are available upon purchase and the following lessons are made available to you each month (one volume per month). Once all nine volumes have been released to you, you will have continued access for as long as you pay for the monthly subscription. You can view the first three lessons in volume one online to see some of what we were taught. Also, for a limited time, you can get volume one for FREE and walk through the lesson in the comfort of your own home as we did.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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One Response to “See the Light {review}”

  • Comment from billy a (the kidd)

    your reviews are very through. After reading your reviews I feel confident to determine if I would purchase the item. You also have the right ages for a great test of the product. It is good that the little one(four years old) hangs in with the experience which is a manifestation that the young mind is ready for action if the opportunity exist. It would be a great idea for some book publisher to hire you as a professional reviewer. You are just that good.

    Billy A (the kidd)

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