"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it"
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up"
My kids and I love doing art at home during quiet time after school, when they want to calm down during an argument or during free play. We are extremely minimalistic when it comes to having toys so they tend to gravitate towards doing art more this way. The kids always have access to their art corner which is a "Yes" space (meaning there are no restrictions to their use of the art material).
Since the beginning of the year, I have been wanting to introduce the kids to famous artists and their art work and also a fun way to learn how to draw basic art. I didn't want to send them to another enrichment centre as art was something I wanted to do with them too. After months of research, I found affordable online programs (mentioned below) that have enriched our art learning at home immensely.
The lessons have helped me learn how to set up my art space, provided me with resources on art books to support our learning, given me a background on artists and the world they lived in and also how to encourage my children to choose the lessons they want to learn at their chosen level of difficulty (hence being fully child-led). The best part of online lessons is that you can take them anywhere you go (a bonus when traveling with young kids) and they don't require much prep (except for a good internet connection!).
Here is my round-up of the art lessons we currently use at home that I'd love to share with you!
The step-by-step art lessons provided by Kirsty, an Australian artist (who is a mum of 2 herself!) are simple yet challenging enough for a child as young as 3 years old (my daughter started when she was 2.5 years old). Artventure has a video library of all the lessons created (new ones are added on every week) with the difficulty rating ranging from 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult). I absolutely love that my kids can choose what they want to draw and can complete a lesson (starting from preparation of the material required) with almost zero help from me! The basic materials she recommends having are paper, oil pastels, a marker pen and watercolour paints.
I was slightly concerned that art lessons that have instructions would zap out all my childrens' creativity but I was pleasantly surprised that they are much more confident in drawing than before. I've seen them doodling their lessons repeatedly and pretending to be Kirsty giving art lessons to their stuffed animals ;) So if you have a child who believes he/she doesn't know how to draw, I would highly recommend artventure!
Here are some of the artworks my kids have done in the past few months using Kirsty's lessons (excuse us for the quality of paper. We always reuse the back of printed paper as part of our zero-waste efforts)
Kirsty has been generous to offer my blog readers a generous 25% discount when you sign up (there's a free 48 hours trial before you sign up too!) using the code GLOBALMINDFULJOURNEY25. Click on the link below to enjoy a discounted rate for the next 2 weeks!
2. Art History Kids
Lotus is a homeschooling mama of 2 who created a resource for homeschoolers and parents to make art history fun and engaging for kids. She runs a monthly membership program (in addition to selling artist guides in her online shop) called 'The Studio' where weekly reading material on new art history topics with open-ended art activity ideas are sent to you. We've learnt about Picasso, artists who were famous for their self-portraits and many more.
The weekly reading material can be accessed at any time but it makes your weekly art acitivities fuss-free as Lotus sends them to your inbox every week! What is different about her resources is that she includes ideas for you child to be inspired to draw like famous artists and leaves it to the creativity and imagination of the child to lead from there (open-ended art lessons for the win!).
Sign up here for membership to The Studio!
You can also access her free resources (which are grouped under 'Free Fun' in the respective months) which we absolutely love.
Here are some of the artworks we made after reading her weekly material using our Studio Membership (from left-right: Making Matisse paper cutouts, Pinning the nose on the Picasso, Making self-portraits like Frida Kahlo).
3. Masterpiece Society
Alisha Gratehouse is the art instructor behind the online art lessons offered at Masterpiece Society. Her fun and playful courses are for kids as young as 2.5 to adults like us (yes she even has a course for mums who want to learn art!). Her website is hence a comprehensive one-stop shop of art courses for all ages and includes art history lessons AND basic step-by-step art lessons.
From my own experience with this program, this is the breakdown of the courses she has for the following age groups:
For preschool kids, I would suggest her 'Coloring pages for pre-schoolers', 'Printable art resources' and 'Step-by-step drawings (K-2)'.
For older kids (aged 7 and above) she offers various 'Mixed media workshops', 'Mixing with the masters' (which consist of various artists' biography, art supplies required and 3 online videos to recreate their artwork) and 'Art School' (which consists of Drawing 101, Watercolors 101and Acrylics & Oil 101)
For moms she has a special course available called 'Masterpiece Moms' where she releases a fun new lesson every month. I plan to start using these lessons for monthly catch-ups with my mummy friends :)
If you want access to ALL of the above courses, you just have to sign up for her 'Masterpiece Society Studio' membership without having to buy each lesson separately. Click on the link below to have year-long access to fun, affordable art lessons for your entire family!
Here are some of the artworks we did using our Studio membership:
I'd love to hear which of the courses you tried out or if you have any more recommendations for affordable online art lessons. Do leave me a comment below :)
Each of the courses above were tried and tested by our family and were ALL purchased by us before this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not sponsored. This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you) that help me maintain this blog and find amazing resources for you!