Review: Elements of Art Series

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Terry Holliday has been a frequent contributor to the Homeschool Showcase for quite some time.  At first, her contributions came from her blog, My Creativity Blog, and they were always just that — very creative.  I’m always excited to see her post submissions because they are always something fun and creatively inspiring.  A few weeks ago, Terry began contributing posts from her newest blog, Art for Homeschool.  I’ve been excited to see those contributions, too, because they’re always some useful take on using and teaching art in, you guessed it, your homeschool.

So, knowing Terry’s work as I did through her Homeschool Showcase post submissions, I jumped at the chance to review her new Elements of Art DVD series when when she emailed me about doing so a few weeks ago.  I was also really excited when she shared with me her ideas for a monthly, online art show for homeschoolers.  In case you missed it in my post on Friday, you can visit Terry’s blog for the details on the first show, coming up in May.


The Elements of Art is an instructional art series available on DVD or through the membership portion of the Art for Homeschool blog.  Terry’s passion is art (for the record, Terry never said, “Hey, Kris, my passion is art,” that’s just the impression I’ve gotten) and this series began as a work of love.  You see, Terry used to develop art lessons for her daughter to use with Terry’s granddaughters in their homeschool.  After she moved out of state, Terry began video-taping art lessons to send back to her granddaughters.

Terry then began to see a need for such art lessons for homeschooled students or for public or private school students who did not have access to art lessons.  Thus was born the Elements of Art DVD series.  The 2-disk DVD set consists of six detailed lessons focusing on:

  • Line
  • Value
  • Shape and Form
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Color

Each lesson (including each part of the two-part lessons on value and color) runs from nearly half an hour to a hour in length.  The actual instructional portion isn’t terribly long, but then you can watch as Terry completes a project with each lesson.  Some lessons are designed for the student to watch all the way through before completing the activity, while others are designed for the student to pause and complete a portion of the activity before continuing.

I had originally planned for Brianna to use the DVDs for the review, but she was working on another art curriculum review for me at the time.  So, I decided I would just do it since I have an interest in art, as well.  After watching the first couple of lessons, I realized that they could easily be adapted for Josh and Megan — and I realized that without even reading the list of suggestions for adapting the lessons for younger kids, which was included with the DVDs and promptly stuck into my mom binder and forgotten until several days later because I’m just that organized.

They loved it!  What really amazed me was how much Josh loved the first lesson on line.  See, we’ve done some art lessons at home before and with a group of friends and he always hated drawing lines — filling in boxes or tree trunk outlines or what-have-you with lines.  He’d grumble and complain the whole time.  This lesson, he not only didn’t complain about, but he also said it was fun and when we had to leave to go to the Y before he was finished, he loaded it up and brought it with him so he could work on it in the car.  And, as soon as he finished, he started another page of line practice.  I kid you not!

I really liked the way that Terry taught value scale in Lesson 2.  Initially, the lesson was much the same as many other value scale lessons I’ve seen, but the project at the end of the lesson leaves students with a handy tool for determining the different values present in photos for future lessons — very handy and great for training the students eyes to see value.

I love that Terry doesn’t expect you to make a large initial investment in art supplies.  I’m all about having quality art supplies, but this can get expensive, particularly if you’re not sure of the interest level of your child.  Most lessons can be completed with a pencil and a piece of paper (such as computer paper) and basic supplies that you’d have around the house.  Some lessons do call for watercolors and watercolor paper, but that’s about as exotic as it gets.

I really like the way the Elements of Art DVD series is put together.  The lessons include lots of great photos — some of famous pieces of art, others of things like flowers, trees or people to serve as examples of concepts.  The sound is a tiny bit more muffled when you’re actually watching Terry complete an art project, but it is still perfectly audible.  I was able to watch and hear the lessons fine on my laptop, which is impressive considering we often have to pull the speakers out in order to hear online videos and such if the sound quality is poor.  We didn’t have to do that at all for these DVDs.

The DVD video series is available through Terry’s website for $39.99, plus shipping or you can get the same lessons online through the membership site for just $29.00.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. This sounds great! Please enter me in the giveaway. Now I'm off to read more about this online art show…

  2. I'll be homeschooling for the first time this next fall, a 13 year old boy. He is an art fanatic, so this area is one of great concern for me. I want to be able to continue to feed his interest in art! This would be a great start, especially since drawing is his favorite.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. This sounds great, put me in for it. My kids are probably at the youngish end for this…… But, they'll grow into it.

  4. Any art instruction that draws (ha ha – I wasn't even trying for a pun) in reluctant little boys is something I would LOVE to see! I think my guys would enjoy art IF I could figure out the right way to present it to them, which until now I have been unable to do.

  5. We've been looking for a new art curriculum! This would be a great addition to our homeschool day! 😉 Thanks!

  6. Wow!! This looks great! I am completely lacking in the art dept. My 8 yr old son is very artistic and while he learns so much on the basic subjects, I worry about him missing out on art. Please enter me into your drawing. Thanks!

  7. I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks for posting about the art show – my 6-yr old is really excited about it!

  8. I would love to be entered in this giveaway! My poor children have done very little artwork in the last three years. I am not artistic in anyway shape or form and need all the help I can get.

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