Starting art

Today we started art. We skipped the first lesson. It was a review of coloring in the lines. He’s good at that already and the picture wasn’t interesting for him. Today’s lesson was 302: shading. He really enjoyed this lesson and discussion. It talks about how to find the light source relating to the subject then how to shade accordingly. The coloring page was 4 fruits. He did good. If we manage to finish our usual Friday work, I may make this a regular addition to our week.

I went ahead and bought Artpac 3 (available from Christian Light and Rainbow Resource). I was pleasantly surprised. It is better than the glorified coloring books of 1 and 2. It has more teaching of techniques. It didn’t take any longer for me to introduce and get him started than any other CLE lessons. Each lesson has a list of materials needed and clearly stated purpose. There are 40 lessons. It is very basic with black and white pages (a bit dull compared to some glossy full color art books). It would be better if the examples were color and bigger. However, it fits very well with the other CLE materials: wholesome, gentle, thorough, kid and parent friendly. My son loved his results with this first lesson.

Now he’s sitting in my rocker singing with his “Praises for Children” and “Wee Sing” songbooks. I’m not sure how much he understands about reading the music or if he’s making up his own with the words. He knows some of the songs from CD’s and church.

He really loves God and Jesus. I think it helps that we limit what influences him and his sister. They don’t watch much TV or popular radio. We scrutinize their books, trying to give them wholesome reading material with good moral lessons (including any drawings and pictures). As he gets older, we can let him have more choices about what to do but for now while he is young and impressionable, it is best to keep a close eye on their influences. I think this is part of the reason there are so many young people with social problems. They don’t have a secure, solid moral base established before they are slowly exposed to different ideas. This leaves them confused and rebellious, seeking security from their friends rather than parents.

The arts are one way kids are exposed to different lifestyles and cultures through painting, drawing, music, and drama. This can be good and bad. It’s also one reason I had a difficult time choosing an art program. I wanted something more meaningful than just crafts but still wholesome. Several of the mainstream art programs do a good job of showing various art techniques but aren’t very wholesome for young students while many of the Christian art programs are wholesome but not much more than crafts. I think the Art the a Purpose Artpacs are a good medium. I can choose which artists to study while it covers drawing and painting techniques. Then when the kids are older and have a good moral and basic arts foundation, they can study more mature themes in the arts.

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