I draw about as well as a four-year-old. I have never developed an "artist's eye" for perspective, shading, and highlighting.
Plus, a few other important details, but we won't go into all of that.
I'm artistic in other ways, like in selecting colors that go together well. I even took decorative painting classes for a few years before my children were born, and I was able to paint some beautiful pieces...but I traced on the pattern, and I had an instructor who was very gifted in showing us the tips and tricks on how to use paintbrushes for their intended purposes.
But drawing? Sigh. I'm hopeless.
My girls, however, enjoy drawing - a lot. I finally bought them each a bound drawing book (9" x 11") so they could keep their multitude of drawings there. It's been fun to flip back through their drawing books and see their progress.
Timberdoodle recently sent me a new drawing program to use with our family and review it here for you.
Simply Draw...with Bob Parsons includes:
I have to admit that when the girls and I sat down with Simply Draw...with Bob Parsons the first time and glanced through it, they weren't very excited. Mr. Parsons is an excellent artist; his talent is obvious. However, his style of drawing is not anything close to what my girls are used to doing. His drawings have a cartoonish, caricature-style to them.
When I mentioned that we were going to work through some of the lessons from Simply Draw...with Bob Parsons, one of the girls began reading through the book on her own, ahead of time. She hadn't got out any art supplies, but she had read through half of the book before we sat down to begin working on a lesson!
The lessons started out simply and progressed step by step. The directions were written very clearly; we all thought that they were easy to understand. The lesson page above shows the skill of learning to draw short parallel lines, or SPL. This was a new term and concept to my daughters.
The enclosed DVD contained video clips which were showing Mr. Parsons demonstrating how to do the various techniques. The videos that we watched were short, to the point and easy to understand. The quality of the video was not as good as I've seen in some curricula, but it was acceptable. There were a few skips in the audio, like a syllable or word missing a couple of times, but the videos were clear enough to demonstrate the techniques.
Below, you'll see a lesson page that contains a sample drawing on top, and then my daughter's drawing, below, of a cup that has been shaded using SPL (short parallel lines).
At first, Kelsi wasn't all that impressed, although I was! I think she was too close to what she had drawn, and needed to take a step back and look at it again.
About an hour after she completed the page above, she walked through the schoolroom and glanced at her drawing again.
"Hey, Mom! Now I actually think that my drawing looks pretty good!"
I agreed. The girls decided that this was an drawing curriculum that they could enjoy using. Maybe they wouldn't be cartoonists or draw in exactly Mr. Parsons' style of drawing, but they figured out that the techniques in Simply Draw are those that can be applied in many types of drawing in the future.
From a frugal perspective, I like the fact that this curriculum also comes with a DVD that not only contains the video lessons, but it also has PDF files that contain all of the reproducible pages that students would need to use with this program.
Instead of printing off the reproducible pages with normal photocopy paper, I chose to use cardstock like the pages in the Simply Draw curriculum.
You will need your own 3-ring binder for this curriculum, and a few basic drawing supplies, but it is a relatively inexpensive drawing curriculum.
I was impressed with its ease of use, the ability to use it with all of the children in your family, the inclusion of the video demonstrations, and the quality of the cardstock used to print the actual curriculum - something that is rare to find in my experiences with a variety of curricula.
I recommend Simply Draw with Bob Parsons for these reasons, and if you have been looking for a drawing curriculum for your children, this is one that takes little to no parent preparation...in fact, your children can work through this independently and be fine!
You can find Simply Draw with Bob Parsons here.
Timberdoodle not only carries excellent curricula, but they also carry a wide selection of toys, games, models, and art supplies. We have purchased several Color Combi Pencil Sharpeners over the years (a MUST if your children use and need to sharpen high quality colored pencils).
Timberdoodle's art supplies are great, as well. You can find those HERE.
Timberdoodle has provided me with a complimentary copy of Simply Draw...with Bob Parsons for the purpose of writing an unbiased review of this product. No other compensation has been provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!