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Beginning Painting with Markers Review by Renee Knoblauch and Christine Hindle

Barry Stebbing
American Family Association
Phone: 1-877-927-4917
PO Drawer 2440
Tupelo, MS 38803

My kids love art and are always asking me to do more art. The reality is that I’m a mom with no artistic ability at all. I find it hard teaching my kids the techniques in any form of art. I’m grateful when I can find a resource that does the teaching for me. Beginning Painting with Markers is taught by artist Barry Stebbing, and comes in a two-disc DVD. It is approximately 90 minutes of viewing time.

Some supplies that are recommended for the courses are water soluble markers, #6 round brush, and watercolor paper pad or heavy cardstock. You will also need a flat surface to work on. A few more items that you can gather from your home are a napkin, water, and he suggested a cup to put the markers in.

None of the lessons are very long. There are a few of the lessons that are around 20 minutes long. Overall, the majority of the lessons are around 10 minutes. The lessons are taught at a nice easy to follow pace. He explains each step clearly along with demonstrating each step. When he uses a color you see the color in a circle on the right side of your screen. I found this very helpful for my daughter being able to see the color.

This is intended for ages 5 through 10 years old. It could possibly be used with older kids who don’t have any prior art instruction. Mr. Stebbing teaches from a Christian Worldview and brings out God’s creation in nature often.

Disc 1:

Intro and Geometric Shapes

Three Dimensional Shapes

Recess-Wally the Worm and Charlie Contrast

Color Wheel

Fruit and Candle

Disc 1 teaches the basic concepts of drawing and color theory. Using basic geometric shapes at first and then using some basic shapes to create other projects. The theory is “precept upon precept,” and “line upon line,” as each lesson introduces new techniques that build upon one another.

You start out with basic shapes and adding shading to them. Your child will learn the techniques of making 3-dimensional shapes. You are introduced to the color wheel and blending colors to make another color. The last lesson you are taught how to use and do shadowing and light. Towards the end of Disc 1 you are applying all the techniques you have learned up to this point.

Disc 2:

Sun, Moon, and clouds

Green Leaves


Recess-Wally the Worm


Autumn Leaf



Disc 2 focuses on nature studies. The techniques are idea for beginning art as Mr. Stebbing uses simple lines and shapes to create beautiful and fun nature objects on paper. As with the first disc he takes you step by step in a concise and comprehensive teaching method.

A few more techniques are adding like horizon line, cast shadow, texture, wet on wet, contrast, white area, and distance. Your kids will also learn the difference of a portrait and landscape. They are taught in a manner that is interesting and Mr. Stebbing is very engaging. Towards the end of Disc 2 all the techniques are utilized.

My kids have loved learning art concepts with Beginning Painting with Markers by Barry Stebbing. My 10 year old son and 13 year old daughter have been learning a lot of new techniques. My 13 year old daughter has learning disabilities and Autism. She gets overwhelmed easily. She was able to follow the pace without any issues. We had to stop the DVD for her to catch up as she is much slower drawing than her brother. I’m extremely happy that this has worked so well with my daughter. My son loved it and has watched the DVDs several times already.

They were both able to work independently while watching the DVD lessons. The DVD lesson’s allowed my kids to work at their own pace on each project. They could go back if they missed something or needed to see how it was done again.

I have enjoyed watching my kids use the some of the techniques they learned with markers and explore other mediums like pencils and water color pencils. They have even shared with me what technique that used in their artwork. As a mom that tells me that they have learned a lot from these lessons. The beauty is that I don’t need to be an art teacher or no prior experience is necessary for my kids to learn art.

I would recommend this to anyone who has a child that wants to learn art. For a homeschool mom like me that doesn’t feel like I can teach art successfully. This was a great relief for me having art class in the comfort of my home. I can also see this working well with a large family wanting to incorporate art into your homeschool. Each child can work independently. Or maybe you live in an area that doesn’t have art courses available.

I’m thrilled with the masterpieces my kids have created and will continue to create thanks to Beginning Painting with Markers Barry Stebbing. I am impressed and delighted to say that this has been a big hit with my kids. Having my kid’s happy and seeing the art they created means it’s been successful.

-Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2016

And another perspective:

This is a DVD with 13 individual lessons taught by Barry Stebbings. You will need some watercolor paper and water soluble markers and a paint brush. This set of two DVDs sells for $14.95 in the online AFA Store:  The lessons are for children ages 5-10.

Mr. Stebbing leads the student through the process of making a drawing and then making it a watercolor painting. He teaches different techniques throughout the lessons, demonstrating each for the student. He is obviously a very experienced teacher and comfortable with explaining things in a way children can easily understand. While this is for children, I was quite fascinated with it too and I think any adult could benefit from these lessons as well.

The lessons include drawing geometric shapes, three-dimensional shapes, contrast, the color wheel etc. Some of the finished paintings were Fruit and Candle; Sun, Moon and Cloud; Birds; Flowers; and other things from nature.  The final painting was a Clown which ended up being quite detailed and I considered the end result a keeper suitable for framing.

My student is 10 years old and she has never been very interested in art, but she took to these lessons like a duck to water and surprised me with her results each time. Using Mr. Stebbing’s methods, she was able to produce some really nice watercolor paintings. She enjoyed this part of her school day and was disappointed when we reached the end of the DVD. I highly recommend this to homeschoolers for their Art/Enrichment curriculum and I understand that Mr. Stebbing has a more advanced course that can be ordered that is a 6 DVD course and there are also other painting and drawing courses available using other mediums (i.e., Acrylics, Oils etc.).

Product Review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2016