Sunday, June 2, 2013

See the Light: Tiffany - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

In April I was delighted to be selected to receive an art lesson DVD from See the Light to review.

See the Light offers a wide variety of DVDs that teach art. There was a large selection offered to the Schoolhouse Review Crew to choose from. I received a DVD called Tiffany Window.

The DVD presentation is divided into four Lessons that each take about 25 minutes to watch:
  • Part 1: Planning Your Composition -- Sketch flower, leaves and stems;
  • Part 2: Rule of Thirds -- Complete Sketch;
  • Part 3: Color Theory --  Marker Techniques on flower, stem, and background shapes;
  • Part 4: Completed Masterpiece -- The Stained Glass Effect.
I immediately dove into the first lesson. I quickly learned the lessons I would need, so I stopped the lesson until I could get the supplies together. (Missing from my photo: I could not find my art eraser; we had to "wing it".)
I asked my son to do art with me. Can you extend grace to me when I tell you that my son absolutely refused!?! [Did I mention that his learning issue includes a certain... not wanting to be shown how to do things? Wanting to figure them out?]

Well, I have a responsibility, when I am doing this type of review, to DO the project with a STUDENT! Not just do it by myself. Fortunately my lovely daughter was available. (Okay, so she's 23, but she willingly sat with me through the lessons and worked on the art project with me.)

The presentation, with instructor Pat Knepley, began with information about the artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany. My daughter was immediately interested. "Does she mean the Tiffany?" she asked, "Like the Tiffany Department Store?"  Well, the artist was the son of the man who started the department store. She was paying attention now! 

For my art project I chose to focus on a sprig of artificial forsythia.
My daughter chose to draw a gerber daisy.  We sat through the instruction sections on sketching in pencil, 

and we came up with some very difficult to see photographs of pencil sketches.
After this point, my son, who "wasn't watching" wanted to prove he can do his own pencil sketching (and I guess he really didn't like the flower theme). When I got up the next morning I found this sketch, that he had done, waiting for me:
 It is really an amazing sketch! But wasn't the assignment. (My son hates being told what he to do...)

Next my daughter and I watched the DVD section about "Thirds", and as a result I added another sprig to my drawing to try to have subject matter at all the intersections.  

The last lesson segment on the DVD was about adding color and then outlining. We started with the main flower(s) in the drawing. Here is my daughter's daisy:
My daughter wasn't impressed by the information on "Thirds", and didn't care about Tiffany windows. She liked her flower and refused to do more. (Does this begin to sound a little like my son?)

After the colors are added, the outlines and intersections are all black-penned. My best permanent Sharpie let me down, so I had to do most of the work with a fine-tipped Sharpie (not as easy to see). The final touch is a black edge to the entire picture. Here's my forsythia picture:
I don't have professional art training. The instructor, Pat Knepley, gave instruction on blending color to create additional shades. My project didn't use that technique, because the flowers were really just very, very yellow. She also talked about warm colors and cool colors, having the background be the opposite of the subject of the picture. I really just don't "get" all of that, and I know I chose to do things differently in my project then instructed. She wanted three background colors, and I wanted more. She wanted background colors to be either warm or cool. I didn't know which to use because the yellow flowers of my subject were warm, but the brown and green were cool, so I did both in my background. I found that the yellow shows up fine on the green and orange (all warm colors), but the brown and green don't show well against the blue, red and purple (in real life, anyway). (But here is where I get fuzzy anyway. Red is a warm color, but it is so dark the other dark colors don't show up well.)

Then my son wanted to show me that he could do a nice marker drawing (but still refusing to sit through the instructional videos, not willing to be told what to do or how to do it), and this is what he came up with:
Nice... but still not the assignment...

Anyway... I felt like I learned a lot from this assignment. My daughter was very impressed learning about Tiffany. (She loves history, and she loves Tiffany jewelry...) I did like the information on blending markers to make new colors, and also the information about keeping your markers clean. (I had no idea...) 

My daughter's opinion was that she understands that it is a Christian video, but that the video had too much church-talk in it. I really enjoyed learning the steps to create this lovely drawing, and being tasked to finish the project. (Without the review being due, I might not have finished the project.)

Would I buy more of these? If I had any other student than my son, yes I would. I have long been guilty of wishing I could fit my son into this box or that box... I wish he were "art-ier". I wish he liked these DVDs. There is so much that I myself could learn from these lessons. But my educational budget needs to go towards things I can use with my son, and he is "art-y" in his own way; I can't spend money on things he has shown a likelihood to resist, refuse, and not use. ::sigh::

I loved this DVD.

The Tiffany Window. DVD is for suggested ages 10 and up, and sells for $14.99. In addition, See the Light carries a variety of Art Project DVDs for ages 5 and up, as well as many other DVDs for ages 10 and up, and many other training tools as well. 



1 comment :

  1. Addendum: My son's pencil drawing of "The Eye of Time" won a blue ribbon in the 4-H Building at the County Fair, and that's not easy to do in my county. So I guess I should not be so hard on him. But I just wanted him to follow the instructions for the art project... ::sigh::