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The Fundamentals of Beginning Drawing with Barry Stebbing DVD Review by April Elsrom

Barry Stebbing
American Family Production and How Great Thou Art Publications
1-800-982-DRAW (3729)
P.O. Box 48

My sons love The Fundamentals of Beginning Drawing instructional DVDs from Barry Stebbing. Both my seven year old son and my ten year old son have worked their way through the six beginning lessons. More importantly, their drawing is definitely improving.

The Fundamentals of Beginning Drawing states that it is for ages 6 through adult. It seems to be mostly intended for elementary and junior high students. I wouldn't recommend using it with a high school student unless he had absolutely no previous art experience.

The set includes three DVDs covering six 50-minute lessons:

  • Fundamentals of Drawing 1
  • Fundamentals of Drawing 2
  • Perspective
  • Portraits and Anatomy
  • Animals
  • Treasures Around the House

In order to complete the lessons, you will need the following items:

  • Device to view the DVD lessons
  • Sketch pad
  • 4 art pencils (HB, 3B, 5B, 6B)
  • Set of 12 colored pencils
  • Soft eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Black fine-tip marker

We were a little doubtful about these lessons when we first viewed Barry Stebbing's introduction -- it seemed too young and cheesy for my 10 year old son. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the very first lesson. Barry Stebbing isn't condescending to the viewers, as we initially feared. He engages their interest and breaks each lesson down into easy steps, which he demonstrates. The lessons are well-recorded and it is simple to select your lesson from the menu on each DVD.

My ten year old son spent hours viewing the DVD lessons, sketchpad in hand. He didn't need my help working his way through the lessons at all. The real success lay in that he continues to remember and apply the techniques he learned long after completing the DVD lessons. He still brings his artwork to me, months later, and shows me how he employed one of the basic techniques that Barry Stebbing demonstrated in these lessons. To me, that is SUCCESS!

I recommend this set to anyone who has a child with an interest in art, or for anyone wanting to incorporate art into their homeschool lessons without having to teach it themselves. If you live in an area where art lessons are not readily available to homeschoolers, this is a great option. I was very impressed with the lessons, and all that my sons learned from it.

Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2011