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Review: Creating a Masterpiece

I'm the first one to admit that I think art is important, but I often put it on the back burner for what I call the "core" subjects. I know it's wrong when I'm doing it, but it just happens (LOL) We recently found a great online art program that really walks you through the steps.  Sharon Hofer has come up with Creating a Masterpiece to make art easy for everyone.  She has a Monthly Plan that gives you access to several levels of art instruction ranging from beginner up to Level 5. There are a few other options as well :)

There are some amazing projects from pencil drawings, watercolors, acrylic and even wood burning. I was most excited about the wood burning and am planning to work on that when I get some time to myself :) There are specific supplies that you will need for each project, but they have already taken the guess work out of that for you. Every project has a list of each and every item that you will need to complete the project.  Here is a complete list of the types of mediums your family can chose from.

Block Printing
Conte" Crayon
Copper Tooling
Glass Mosaid
Mixed Media
Oil Painting
Oil Pastel
Silk Paining
Soft Pastel
Wood Burning

Here is a sample that is very special to those at Creating a Masterpiece.  

I decided to ask both of my younger kids, 9 & 15,  which projects they would be interested in trying. I figure if we did one that was picked by each child that would work:) Several choices were discussed and in the end we went for one drawing and two watercolors. One that we worked on was the Lessons in Pencil: Sunflower.   I do NOT consider myself to be artistic at all, but I felt my drawing turned out pretty decent. Sharon really does give good instruction and we just paused and worked on our project and then started again. I felt like my 15 year old daughter and I had an easier time with the instructions than my 9 year old son. He seemed to be working more on the level that Sharon said most kids do, but you try to instruct them to move ahead further. He honestly wasn't getting exactly what she said  and became very frustrated. He felt because ours looked better than his that we were "showing off." I explained to him that we were all doing the best we could and that we can use this as a learning tool for the next time. I personally think he was rushing a little bit and her instruction just wasn't specific enough for him. I think if she had slowed down a little with each step that would have helped. He might just need more specific instruction.  One issue when we were doing our drawing was there were times that her markings on the paper seemed so light that we weren't sure what she was doing. It would be great if there was a little better closeup while she's working.  

We also tried two different watercolor projects.  We did Lessons in Watercolor: Floral Medley and Lessons in Watercolor: African Sunset.  Even though these were both watercolor they each had different techniques and you could really make them your own. I think some of the directions my son and I took more literal and you can see it in our work (LOL) My daughter seemed to take the directions and somehow turn it into what it was suppose to be :) All three of our projects were unique and different which I enjoyed. I think one of my favorite parts was in doing Lessons in Watercolor: African Sunset because we got to use coffee straws to make our trees. Again, my daughters looked much better, but overall I was happy with what we achieved. We worked in the beginner and Level 1 sections. I really feel that unless your child is gifted in art that some of the projects will frustrate them. My son just kept saying that his didn't look anything like Sharon's work. We told him she's an artist, so hers will look better than all of ours. I feel this really would work better for about twelve and up unless they are really artistic. I just didn't feel that really young kids would do well with the projects. 

The lessons range in amounts of time. Some lessons take up to an hour and others you can do several lessons in one sitting. What we discovered when doing the watercolors is that you often need to let your work dry before you can move on to the next step. Sharon mentioned you could use a hair dryer to be able to move on quicker, but we just let our dry and worked again on another day. 

I really have enjoyed trying out the Monthly Plan from Creating a Masterpiece. It has given my children and I some precious time together creating art. While I don't think most of our work looks like the pictures on the site I do feel that we were able to do some things that I didn't think we could :) I personally feel now that there are things I can do IF I'm walked step-by-step like Sharon Hofer does.  Even though my youngest got frustrated at times I still think he enjoyed doing the different types of art. 

Go check out some of the beautiful art and see what they have to offer on Facebook as well as read what the other crew members thought!

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}


  1. Thanks so much for your review. I think your watercolor paintings turned out so nice as well as your other pieces as well!

    In the future I will make sure I draw the beginning steps a little darker as some screens just don't show the contrast as well.

    Sharon Hofer, Creating a Masterpiece

  2. I wanted to mention one more thing. You said, "I really feel that unless your child is gifted in art that some of the projects will frustrate them. My son just kept saying that his didn't look anything like Sharon's work. We told him she's an artist, so hers will look better than all of ours. I feel this really would work better for about twelve and up unless they are really artistic. I just didn't feel that really young kids would do well with the projects."

    First of all, I would encourage you to allow your son to do the projects by himself so he doesn't have the pressure of comparing his work with others. Secondly, if you make him slow way down by pressing the pause button often, he won't feel rushed and won't be frustrated. You don't have to be an artist to do these projects, you just have to slow way down and then you will have a masterpiece. I believe that you will see a big change of confidence in him after producing just a couple projects in a slow manner. Don't let him rush. Kids are all different but you can see from other student's artwork that very young children can do this and make their projects look as good as mine.

    I hope this helps as I really want to encourage your son.

    Sharon Hofer, Creating a Masterpiece


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