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Elements of Art Videos Review by Heather Jackowitz

Getting to know

The creators of Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists have produced an excellent instructional art series called Elements of Art. Three videos (also available in DVD) teach kindergarten through fourth graders about line, color, and shape and form in art. Each video is approximately twenty minutes long. Computer animation, photographs, and famous works of art form the backdrop for instruction. You can view video clips at Chapters are outlined below:

Getting to Know Line in Art:

What is Line?
Kinds of Lines
Expressive Qualities of Lines
Lines Around Us
Line as Shape, Pattern, or Texture
Lines in Art

Getting to Know Shape and Form in Art:

What is Shape? What is Form?
Kinds of Shapes and Forms
Shape and Form in the World Around Us
Shape in Painting
Form in Sculpture
The Human Shape and Form in Painting and Sculpture
Shape and Pattern
Negative and Positive Shapes
Shape as a Tool for Drawing

Getting to Know Color in Art:

Color in Nature and Art
Primary Colors and the Color Wheel
Secondary Colors and the Color Wheel
Intermediate or Tertiary Colors
Warm and Cool Colors
Values, Tints, and Shades
Complementary Colors and Neutrals
Analogous Colors
Monochromatic Colors
Color and Mood

On each screen, children can follow along with the read-along text, which is narrated by different people, including many children. The accompanying music and sound effects are fun and fitting. Famous works of art beautifully illustrate each concept.

If you like television shows like "Bill Nye the Science Guy" with fast talk, fast graphics, and frequent scene cuts, then you probably will not like these videos. My family usually feels mentally assaulted after a "Bill Nye-style" show, so we appreciated the slower pace and quieter humor of these unpretentious videos.

Each video encourages students to try different ideas in their art. My children (aged four to twelve) each brought out paper and art supplies after watching each lesson, a testimony to the inspirational quality of these videos. Several years ago, we used Art Adventures at Home, a foundational art program for kindergarten through third grade. Sometimes my children had a hard time envisioning what they were supposed to do, so I had to seek out examples or make them myself. These videos perfectly supplement the lessons in that art text, and I highly recommend looking into this complementary program. The videos give great foundational information, while Art Adventures at Home offers specific art projects using these elements. We are going to bring it out again for the younger set now that we have these wonderful videos.

-- Product Review by: Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2005