Creating a Masterpiece: Art History Program Review

 I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew. 

Even if you child doesn't gravitate toward art, including it in your homeschool has big benefits. This summer, we reviewed the Art History Program from Creating a Masterpiece. This entirely online instructional resource offers a very engaging way to learn and create art pieces with a focus on the history of each art style.

What is Creating a Masterpiece: Art History Program?

When you purchase the course, you get access for one month or 12 months. This includes the instructional videos and supply lists. Kids can complete one lesson for each day they do art, and each project takes between one and four lessons on average. Because it is online, you'll need internet access, and kids can pause and rewind videos to get clarification on any parts they don't understand or to take more time to complete a step before they move on.

The program is broken up into three levels of lessons:

  • Styles of Art in History 
  • Historically-themed projects
  • Capstone projects
(Pictures below are just a sampling of what's offered)

Who is this program for?

My two middle sons did this program. They are 14 and 16 and enjoyed watching the videos and working along with Sharon Hofer, the instructor. The lessons are very detailed and it can take patience to work through the program, but some of the projects can be done with children as young as 5. 

The Exploring the Art of Yesterday level and the Paint like Vermeer: Girl with the Pearl Earring are the two most difficult projects, and the Vermeer projects is to be done only by students who meet certain criteria set by the teacher. 

Because there are so many levels included in this program, you could have any of your students in your K-12 homeschool participate in at least some of the activities. 

How does it tie into history?

While the course isn't as much of a formal history program as an art course that gives context into how pieces were created during a specific time period, it is a nice way to breathe life into your existing history lesson or even do something fun to get historical context outside of a textbook. In the first lesson we did, the Royal Hunt lesson, my kids learned about how Egyptian paintings were created at the time, along with some of the themes that were found in almost every one of them.

Little details such as the fact that the warriors were facing forward, that they often used weapons, and that horses were a major component of the art were fascinating facts for my kids. It also helped when they made their own renditions, as they really did look like the art style of the time. 

What do you need to get started?

The teacher is clear that higher quality art supplies yield higher quality results. With this in mind, know that even buying some of the cheapest supplies you can find will require you to invest a bit. I think if you are going to do art with your kids, they should have a wide variety of materials available to them, anyway, but budgets can be tough, and the higher quality art supplies can be expensive.

With that in mind, each project comes with a supply list. I would take a look at them ahead of time and decide which to do based not only on what your kids are interested in, but what supplies you can afford or even obtain at the moment. When we started with the Royal Hunt projects, we had many of the supplies, including quality brush-tip markers and pencils.

Other projects require things like clay or pastels and special sculpting and detail tools. If you can't afford the supplies at the moment, do these projects later. You are free to pick and choose the activities that meet your family's time constraints, age levels, and budget, which I think is a beautiful part of this program. Projects do not have to be done in any particular order.

How many students can do this program?

A single purchase gets you access for as many students in your family as you want to use it. I started out putting my two kids together to learn as a group, and the supply list even comes with a handy chart to tell you how many of each supply you need for numerous students. (This can save money, since many items can be shared.)

After a time, however, my boys learned that they focused more doing the program individually, and they actually got their projects done sooner. Since each student may take longer with certain parts and need to review or pause at different times, we found that it was more fun to do as a group, but more efficient to do it individually. You can try both ways and see what works for you. (Or you can let each child do their own project. It's flexible!)

Creating a Masterpiece: Art History Program Review Summary

The teacher in this program is very sweet, engaging, and detail-oriented, encouraging children to do their best and helping them develop proper technique while they participate. The historical aspect helps bring the projects to life and gives students perspective and context of the time various works of art were created. Families should expect a significant time and financial investment for some of the projects but also realize that the return is great, since students will be creating an art portfolio they can be proud of and possibly even showcase for college scholarships and future art opportunities. 

The program, which can be purchased one month or one year at a time, is a largely-hands off way for parents to give their kids an excellent art education, no matter where you live. 

Learn more:

This is just one of the art offerings from Creating a Masterpiece, and you can see all of the plans and programs here. You can also see them on social media:

You can also read other parent reviews here