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Drawing Lessons for Beginners Review by Kathi Van Der Linden

Donna Hugh
Coyote Creek Productions
2419 E. Mission Road
Fallbrook, CA 92028

Drawing Lessons for Beginners is a set of 4 DVDs, each containing three to four lessons. Each DVD is about one hour long, making the instruction time 15 to 20 minutes per lesson. Mrs. Hugh covers many different drawing subjects, including simple shapes, nature, animals and people. Most of these are readily available either in one's home or backyard or in books. The Internet is also an excellent resource for photos of animals or nature. In these lessons, Donna introduces the students to different art media, and she explains the different drawing pencils and when and how to use them. All the aspiring artist really needs is a DVD player, paper, pencils, and pens--and off they go! At times, Donna uses watercolor pencils and paints, but she always encourages the student to use what he has around the house already. This is an obvious plus for families on a tight budget or with many participating students.

We have successfully used this product on a weekly basis with several students ranging from 3rd to 6th grade. I believe that all grade school aged children could profit from this instruction if they are able to sit and focus on the material at hand. In addition, early teens could improve their skills in drawing. After the careful instruction is completed, the young artists start to imitate Donna's drawing instructions. She encourages them to be content with their finished product and to not lose hope even when it looks different from hers. This product could easily be used in a coop situation or a classroom as well as in an individual family. 

Donna Hugh is obviously a seasoned art teacher, and this is clearly portrayed in her simple and encouraging instructions. We have enjoyed this DVD approach immensely and the time and effort it frees up for the parent. Often art is a neglected subject, as there are many more looming tasks to conquer. I have enjoyed the fact that this program uses everyday items and supplies, but, on the other hand, it never gives any sort of supply list. This made it difficult for me to plan ahead and purchase items if necessary. From the pictures and descriptions on the case of the DVD, one could tell what might be drawn in each lesson and prepare, but a detailed list would have been even more helpful, in my opinion. I must say that when I emailed Coyote Creek Productions concerning this dilemma, they were quick to respond politely that there was no such list. All in all, I highly recommend this series of drawing lessons by Donna Hugh!

Product review by Kathi Van Der Linden, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010