Monday, May 1, 2017

ArtAchieve - Level IV (Review)

Olivia is finding that she has a real knack for art, and has even won a recent art contest.  We were both thrilled to get an opportunity to review the Entire Level IV package from ArtAchieve.  This is an online art program.  You can purchase an entire level for one year, there are bundles of 3 lessons ranging from $10-$13, or you can pick and choose art projects for $6 per lesson/year access.   There are five (5) levels of lessons to choose from, the first level being for younger students, or those with little art training, and working up to the more advanced student.

Each lesson has several basic elements/options.   There is a warm up that you can print out to help get the student ready, most lessons have a printout of the drawing (great for younger students who can't quite do the full lesson), a step by step video lesson and a PowerPoint lesson if you prefer to move slower than the video.    There are also cross curricular free links and information within the lesson description to allow you to create an entire lesson or mini unit study around the art project.

The first project Olivia worked on was the Chinese Horse.  Olivia opted to use the PowerPoint lesson so that she could take her time more than using the video lesson.   First she completed the warm up page, you can see an example of the completed warm up below.
She went back and forth between the screen and her art work, changing to the next slide as she progressed.
The program tells you to draw in permanent marker during many of the lesson.  Olivia chooses to draw in pencil, then once she's completed the project she goes back over it in marker.
Below is the completed project.  Once she traced the drawing in black permanent marker, she used gold metallic permanent marker and a white charcoal pencil to add the details and contours.  This project took her roughly an hour to finish.
Here are photos of other projects Olivia created using ArtAchieve Level IV.
The Monster of Bangladesh
The most time consuming project was her faux stained glass.  First she had to draw the design, then mix glue and black acrylic paint and apply that to the drawing for the "lead" look.   This took several hours to dry, so the final step, painting had to take place the following day.  Below are photos of the process and the final product.
Stained Glass Nativity
Each lesson moves in incremental steps.  The instructor, or PowerPoint slide, explains to the student how to measure the spacing for their art, and then helps them see how and where to draw the individual components so that the picture takes shape as they are working.   This keeps the student from getting overwhelmed by the overall size of the project.

Olivia  has truly enjoyed the variation in projects, the different art medias she's used and has really been pleased with the results of her work.   Lindsey isn't a huge fan of art, so she skipped this review.   I will say, I've used Level II in my co-op class and have had a great success rate, and my students range from 5-14.   This is a program that really makes art doable for a vast range of students.

Another big plus for this program is that you don't have to spend an enormous amount of money on art supplies.  For the most part a permanent marker, colored pencils, drawing paper, watercolors and regular markers are enough to get your student started.

This is an online program, and as the technology devils would have it, I ran into an issue two weeks into this review.   I emailed the company and they worked with me for several days trying to make sure I was able to access the site and use their product.   I mean they went above and beyond helping me, even after the knew the problem wasn't on their end.   Come to find out, if you unplug a router and let it sit for a few minutes, it solves a world of problems....and I never would have know that had it not been for the wonderful (and folks in their IT department.

To read more TOS reviews of this product, click here.

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