I’ve been looking for a curriculum to help develop my children’s artistic skills, rather than only giving them time for freestyle drawing. So, I was very excited to receive a lifetime membership to Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses from Beyond the Stick Figure Art School.
This online program normally costs $370, and is designed for the whole family to use. It is intended to be used as a full year curriculum, but it also can be used as a supplemental program over time.
As this program is all online and progressive in the skills you’ll require, they have set up the website so that you need to mark your current video as ‘complete’ before you are allowed to move onto the next video or section. Except for this, the website is very easy to follow and find what you need.
Once marked as ‘complete’ you can still go back and rewatch any video. This makes it very cost effective in the long run, especially if you have a few children, as the program can be used by the whole household. Bonus, I get to practice and develop artistic skills too.
There are several supplies that you will need to purchase on top of the course program, but these are all listed, and reinforced in detail at the beginning of each course section.
The program starts by encouraging us to get outdoors into nature, and begin with the basics while having fun with it, as well as giving positive reinforcement throughout.
The program provides very detailed instructions throughout, and contains 5 main topics:
Complete Drawing Course:
3 parts with 53 videos/sections and a rubric to evaluate your own work. This course takes you back to the basics, but with quality colored markers and plenty of practice, you’ll end up with a picture or two.
Pen & Ink:
2 parts with 15 videos/sections. This course starts off with a very small sheet of paper, so empty space isn’t overwhelming. This course provides a foundation to watercolor painting as your drawing is completed with a watercolor wash. Encouragement to make your own greeting cards is also given.
3 parts with 52 videos/sections. Again this course starts with the basics, and in this case that means working in monochrome, which is very effective. As you build on your skills and get familiar with using this type of paint via different techniques and colors, you are encouraged to have fun and experiment.
3 parts with 24 videos/sections. Warning…get ready to get into a mess. You’re guaranteed to need to wash your hands after this one. But expect some fun. Throughout this course you’ll also learn various techniques and experience mixing colors using acrylic paint.
3 parts with 30 videos/sections. In this course you will use a couple of different materials to create an animal, and two styles of pot – one of which you will bake in the oven and the other will air dry. You are also taught how to make your own slip (which acts as a professional glue).
Please note that all videos are very short, which is perfect for younger children, but it also encourages practicing in between videos.
How We Used The Program:
I did sit with my children when they did this program so I could do it too, and we focused our time right at the beginning with the Complete Drawing Course. We started on very small pieces of paper so it wasn’t overwhelming. Ready for a spoiler alert?
Part 2 of this course seems like A LOT of random abstracts, with multiple repetitive practice, but Part 3 brings each small abstract drawing together into a picture by using a grid system. Now we can apply this principle to any picture the girls want to draw. Endless practice. And all artists need to practice.
Drawing a complicated picture doesn’t have to be overwhelming after all, and this is important to us. Throughout the course there were also basic workbooks to print for additional support.
This online program is exactly what we needed, as it starts right from the beginning. As the videos are very short we usually did more than one at each sitting. There were times when my girls questioned why they were asked to do so many abstract practices, but it all came clear in the end. My girls still need to continue to practice and improve (like we all do), but they now have a wonderful foundation that has given them confidence, and they are excited to continue their Art lessons. For now we plan to focus on developing drawing and painting skills from these courses, but as my girls get older (currently 8 and 6) we will come back and take the 3D course. I loved 3D Art classes when I was back in school, and this course is a fabulous introduction providing plenty of tips and suggestions for beginners.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of British accents and learning some extra British vocabulary, besides listening to me, then you’re going to find these videos very appealing.
Please take the time to look at what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have to say about this curriculum and see if this is a good fit for your family, as it is for ours:
You can also find out more here:
Hi there, we’re Micheal & Katherine!
We’re passionate about helping families strive for health and wellness, and living a non-toxic lifestyle. To us this also means homeschooling, choosing joy, exploring, making everyday count, and doing our research. We know it’s not an easy journey, but we’re doing our best and trying to make the right choices for our family.