I have found it challenging to find good materials for art time for our family. Not that there aren’t great resources out there–there are. But I have one child who LOVES art instruction, and two who prefer to take a pass.
They love to draw, mind you. They just don’t like to be told how to do it. So I was excited to have the chance to review the Shipwrecked DVD by See the Light because I knew this DVD would motivate them in a way that other resources might not.
The DVD tells a story (illustrated by See the Light artists) during which we are given glimpses of a drawing or painting in chalk pastels that takes shape while the story is being told. Viewers are able to see how the artist uses various elements to bring the whole picture together. In case the little glimpses are not enough, one of the video’s bonus features is a focus on the art being created, set to beautiful worship music.
In the case of Shipwrecked, the story is that of Paul’s shipwreck at the island of Melita. To add interest, the story is told from the perspective of a young boy–the son of one of the sailors–traveling with the crew. The video is intended for young artists ages 6 and above.
The artist’s depiction itself is fascinating, but at the end is the real treat: the artist turns on black light and a previously unseen element of the picture comes into view. (No spoilers here, you’ll have to buy the video yourself to see what it is.)
In addition to the story, the video contains three art lessons with step-by-step video instructions by a master artist to create three different pictures using various media. To make it even more fun, the supplies (purchased separately) include a black light so the children can achieve the same effect with their art as the master artist did on the video.
While I can’t promise that this DVD transformed my girls into lovers of art instruction, they were much more willing than usual to submit to the instructions for these videos, enjoyed the projects, and were fairly pleased with their own successes afterward.
Though the art lessons were enjoyable and instructive, the Bible story itself was probably everyone’s favorite part of this DVD.
I was very impressed with how quickly and painlessly See the Light sent my resources to me all the way over here in China. I received the DVD for free for this review, but purchased additional supplies: the black light, extreme color pencil crayons and fluorescent chalk pastels. While I had to send an email to the company in order to receive a quote for international shipping, the price of shipping was not unreasonable (especially in comparison to other homeschooling or book companies we’ve tried to deal with).
I will say that the results of the black light were much more dramatic on the video than we were able to reproduce at home. This could have been due to the strength of the light or the fact that our house is so open-concept, the only spot we can find an even slightly darkened room is a bathroom, and it could be we didn’t have the optimum conditions for viewing our finished pieces.
I should also mention that there was one slightly off-putting item in the kit. Below is the warning on the fluorescent chalk pastels. Since all my children can read now, they overreacted a bit when they took out the items for the projects and discovered this:
I managed to reassure them that if the artists were using them (far more than they would be) and hadn’t died yet, they’d be just fine, but it should probably be noted that this did give them some momentary concern.
Overall, this is a highly-recommended resource. We are subscribed to See the Light’s drawing lessons online as well, and find this product to be an equally high quality learning resource to those lessons. I am very impressed with this company, its vision and its resources. While we used this resource in a homeschool setting with children ages 6 through 11, it would easily be adaptable to a Sunday School or vacation Bible school setting or other group class (just make sure you allow for the different speeds at which children can complete the projects and be prepared to pause the video while children catch up to the master artist, something the instructor invites the audience to do.)
The Shipwrecked DVD is one of three such Bible-based titles from See the Light. There are also other drawing and art project DVDs available at their site. The Shipwrecked DVD is an incredible value at $14.99.