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Children's Art Videos: Masterpiece Series Review by Stephanie D. Scarborough

Art Video Productions
Phone: 1-800-437-1066

The Art Video Masterpiece series is a joint adventure between Mrs. Lebo, a 30-year veteran art teacher, and her husband Steve.

For the review, my children and I were able to learn about and from the master artist: Leonardo Da Vinci. The Homeschool Teacher Kit consists of a video (or DVD) and teacher's guide. The videotape consists of 4 lessons. The first lesson is about the life and works of Da Vinci. It is broken into two parts, which helps the learner digest the plethora of information given. The next lessons are actual art lessons taught by Mrs. Lebo. The three lessons are drawing from nature, drawing from proportion, and drawing in perspective. At the beginning of the lesson, the students are given a list and shown the materials needed for the lesson. During the lessons, art terms are used and followed-up by a definitions. At the end of each lesson, there are actual student works shown.

Lesson one shows Mrs. Lebo working on a contour drawing. Moreover, she explains the importance of training the hand to follow the eye. The lesson is made fun by the children being shown how to write backwards and use Latin names of our nature drawings as Leonardo Da Vinci often did.

Lesson two is drawing the "perfect" face. My children enjoyed running to the mirror and checking the formulas for the proportions of facial features.

Lesson three shows how to draw a set of stairs and a building using one-point perspective. Mrs. Lebo makes it easy by verbally reinforcing instructions as she is actually doing it.

The filming quality seemed to be challenged in the area of focusing in/out especially in situations requiring detailed focus. In spite of the slight technical challenges, the lessons shine though. There is peaceful background music during the lessons.

The teacher book is thorough. It helps the parent make the lessons work for various ages by multiple sets of questions to ask children based on the children's' ages, grade level or experience. It also links the ideas taught to other disciplines such as history, science, language arts and math. The vocabulary section would be valuable for the novice to art terms. Lastly, there are a few worksheets to make the art lessons more successful.

Mrs. Lebo's knowledge and experience is displayed by this video series, as is her love for the masters.

--Product Review by: Stephanie Scarborough, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine