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Drawing and Sculpting Horses and Eagles Review by Deborah Burt

Sharon Jeffus
Visual Manna
P.O. Box 553
Salem, MO 65560

When you purchase Drawing and Sculpting Horses and Eagles from Visual Manna, you receive a 35-minute instructional DVD along with Drawing, Painting and Sculpting Horses, Master Drawing, handouts on drawing eagles, an art kit with paints and brushes, 5 pounds of terra cotta clay, charcoal supplies, and paper. Also included is a free Internet art lesson on painting horses. For this review, I only had access to the instructional DVD and a huge chunk of clay.

The Drawing and Sculpting DVD brings Sharon Jeffus into your living room! The DVD is broken into 5 sections. In the first part, Mrs. Jeffus introduces you to drawing with charcoal. She tells about the famous artist Remington and helps you understand how art and history can be connected. She proceeds to draw the basic shapes for a horse's head, explaining so you can follow along. In Part 2, Mrs. Jeffus shows how to add shading, make the horse look more realistic with details, and use your finger and an eraser to add special effects. In Part 3, Mrs. Jeffus demonstrates how to handle clay and how to form a horse's head with the clay. She explains that if you do not want to have your sculpture fired, you can simply paint on many coats of Elmer's glue to make it more permanent. In Part 4, Mrs. Jeffus introduces you to drawing an eagle. She teaches a bit about Audubon and explains how art and science can have a connection. In Part 5, Mrs. Jeffus teaches how to sculpt an eagle's nest, complete with mama and baby eagle. She also shows how to add texture to the sculpture.

There were a few places in the DVD where Mrs. Jeffus suggested that we look at the worksheets she provided. Unfortunately I did not have copies of those worksheets! I am certain they would have added the final touches to a great DVD lesson. The worksheets, along with the other goodies mentioned above, are included with the DVD when purchased from Visual Manna.

We sat down to watch this DVD in my living room with an 8 year old, a 10 year old, a 15 year old and a 34 year old. All of us were intrigued with listening to Mrs. Jeffus and following her directions. Sharon Jeffus talks in a friendly, conversational manner, as if she is really in the room with you. Her instruction went a little quickly for my students, but that's the beauty of having this class on DVD - you can hit the PAUSE button! When I watched the DVD through a second time, I heard tips and tidbits that I had missed the first time. My only complaint about this DVD was the sound quality. The audio seemed to have static, or crackling, throughout the playing. We were at first irritated by this, but forgot about it as we became absorbed with the projects.

The Drawing and Sculpting DVD was interesting and educational. I can only imagine how wonderful this DVD class would be with all the extras included! I recommend this DVD set for any homeschool family interested in learning how to draw and sculpt.

Product Review by Deborah Burt, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2009