Thursday, October 31, 2013

See the Light Art Instruction DVD review

See the Light Shine


My daughter is very enthusiastic about anything that has to do with art. If all of her subjects could be connected to art she would be thrilled. So when Mosaic Reviews team members had the opportunity to review an art instructional video from See the Light I knew my daughter would be interested. 

Art Projects with Pat Knepley Repeated Sweets - watercolor painting in the style of American Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud.

The DVD contains 4 lesson sessions between 23 and 31 minutes each. Allow additional time for working on the art projects after viewing the lessons for an approximate time of  1 hour.

Lesson 1  Select Motif and Draw

My daughters drawings from this lesson. The student is directed to choose one of these drawings for their project.

 Lesson 2   Two Types of Watercolor: Wash-Flat and Graded

This is an example of practicing the principles taught in this lesson

Lesson 3 Paint in the details

First steps of actual painting.

 Lesson 4   Finish Up with Shade and Shadow

 The finished product !

 There are 9 separate DVD's in the Art Projects series, each teaching the work of a specific artist and the applicable art elements and principles. Some of these elements and principles are taught in multiple DVD's as they apply to the respective artists work. With the addition of several additional projects, research and presentation on one or two artists, and a field trip or two this series contains enough material for a full Fine Art credit for high school.

A list of required materials for each title is available in the specifics for each DVD.

Each lesson teaches proper technique and application. Pat not only verbally teaches this, but shows the viewer what to do as she explains it.

The Art Projects DVD series is for ages 10 and up. Each DVD is priced at $14.99 or $99.99 for the complete set.

See the Light also has a 9 volume series entitled Art Class and a series featuring 5 Bible Stories and related art projects.

My Thoughts

Both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed these lessons, although I didn't produce any art. I learned about the artist (who I had never heard of) and a lot about watercolor technique.

As mentioned above the See the Light website has a list of materials needed for each DVD. This really helped me to know the specifics of what I needed to have on hand to be able to use the DVD when it arrived. Knowing about materials before purchasing the product is a great time saver and help. The majority of the supplies needed for all of the DVD's are standard art supplies.

Each lesson does contain a reference to a Bible story, but there is very little interpretation. It is simply telling a Bible story. In one of the lessons we watched Pat picked out the world 'pale' and told the Bible story of the handwriting on the wall and King Belshazzar (Daniel 5).

My daughter is 12, so within the recommended age range and with some previous art instruction, and these projects were appropriately challenging for her. She needed to take her time in what she was doing to achieve the expected result and even had to go back and redo some of her work. I think it is fair for me to say that she spent at least an hour on each of the lessons. I know she will go back and rewatch several of the lessons while creating another picture using the techniques in Repeated Sweets.

There is a lot of meat and substance to these video lessons. The viewer/ student is given a lot of information and guidance in each lesson to help them produce a quality work of art. It should not be difficult for the viewer/student to take what they have learned in the lesson and use in future projects.

My daughter says:
I really enjoyed the program, I liked it so much I wanted to do it first thing each morning.
It wasn't hard, it tells you how to do everything step by step and doesn't leave anything out.
I like that it allows the student to choose what subject to paint because I don't like it when I have to paint a particular thing.

Other members of the Mosaic Reviews team had the opportunity to review other volumes in the Art Projects set. To read about their experiences visit the Mosaic Reviews blog.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

iTooch Educational Apps by Edupad

Itooch Educational Apps from Edupad
Follow iTooch by Edupad on Facebook

The Mosaic Reviews review team has recently reviewed some of the apps from  itooch.

Edupad is a French based company, in business since 2011, developing educational applications for mobile devices. Their applications are designed for iOS, Windows, and most recently Android based devices. These apps are designed for grades 3-8 and cover math, language arts and science or health. Each app has up to 6000 Common Core aligned lessons. Edupad also has several language apps and a SAT prep app available.

Students are able to practice material in a variety of sub categories in the apps subject. While answering questions and taking tests they are able to earn points to receive belts of various colors and unlock new levels of information. Progress within a sub category is shown by the circle being colored in as the student progress through the work. The question material is supported by text selections which are read before the questions are answered and are available at any time by opening a sidebar.

Image from

iTooch apps are available in Google Play for Android,the Windows store, and Apple App store. Each app is $4.99, Some trial apps are available for free.

  My Thoughts

Each app is subject specific ie. just language arts or math. I downloaded the 4th and 8th grade language arts apps for my children.  The apps load quickly and feature a cute little character doing many different things. My son enjoys see what it will do next. While they have been enjoying them, I don't feel they have been challenged. My youngest is 4th grade age and he has been flying through the material, usually doing three questions and then taking the test and getting a perfect score. After seeing how my son did I downloaded the app a year above my daughters age and she has experienced the same thing. So while they have been enjoying their time with the apps (and my phone) they have been practicing skills they already know, not necessarily learning new things.

My son has made a lot of progress in the 4th grade language arts modules but he has not completed all of the sub categories so I am not able to see what if anything may be earned at the end or what the various belts might be working towards.

One other thing we noticed is the apps seem to be extremely sensitive to touch. It is very easy to choose an incorrect answer when scrolling up or down or opening the text reference material. The sideways sliding to look at the progress chart is quite fast as well.

If you are able to get the itooch app for free, it is a fun educational supplement, but may not teach a whole lot of new material.

Read other Mosaic Reviewers thoughts at  the Mosaic Reviews blog.