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Tag: drawing

One of the subjects I was really looking forward to offering Satori was drawing lessons. She loves to draw, and I think she’d really take off with some lessons. My plan to use Drawing With Children never materialized, it is just not user-friendly enough.

So I was on Homeschool Buyers Co-op over the weekend, and found Mark Kistler’s Online Art Lessons at a shockingly low price. Through the end of this month, they are offering a Three Year Family Subscription for just $39.60!!! That’s under $7 per year in drawing lessons for Satori and I, under $5 if David participates. (This is 60% off the regular price.)

So I established that it was extremely affordable. Next, I did some research to see if it was worth it. Glowing reviews on the homeschooling forums from the families that used it… The free samples on his online site impressed even my husband. Fun and engaging and actually incorporates many art concepts! The amount of 3-D art instruction you get is amazing, and people say he adds more videos often. Mark Kistler won an Emmy Award for his children art instruction TV show.

The real test would be to see if Satori would like it… I couldn’t wait until morning to try it out with her.

I played his free demo instructions and placed Satori’s little table in front of my monitor in our loft room. We did one of his Mini-Marshmallow lessons, geared for younger kids. Satori wanted to do his Ninja Egg lesson. And here’s her finished drawing! She learned about 3-D drawing, shadows, and horizon lines.

Although his instruction is very cartoony, you can take all the concepts learned and apply it to realistic drawings very easily.

We also did his Balloon lesson. She learned perspective and drew smaller and smaller balloons the further away they are. Again, note the shadow to make it look more 3-D.

I asked her if she’d like to continue these drawing lessons. She said she’d love it! I then clicked BUY on the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and had our online login within two minutes.

Now these are excellent drawing lessons we can EASILY do every week and learn from all the time. Even our cat Kashi loves to watch the videos!

I mentioned a few days ago that we are going to start drawing lessons and practice every week. The main book I chose for this was Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes (founder of Monart art schools). I’ve read about 3/4 of the book and am excited to start. It is only 5 lessons total, not really a set curriculum, so it will be a bit confusing for us to get through, but I will do my best!

Mona Brookes specifically created this program for 4-5 year olds in a preschool setting, but people of any age can use it. We started out with a drawing “test” to see if Satori could copy a set of shapes. There are 3 levels of shapes and carefully detailed are the approximate ages that should be able to master each level. Satori rocked at the first level, she surprised me! Then she attempted Level 2 and got frustrated. Needless to say, Level 2 was not in the 4-5 age range.


Surprisingly, Mona Brookes starts you out with black markers! No pencils, and most definitely no erasers. The book explains why. So I gathered up all our black markers of varying widths, and got a set of 5 Prismacolor black drawing markers of varying widths. We both set about the initial activity of simply scribbling to get used to the different markers.

Getting used to our black markers

Getting used to our black markers

Then on to the Five Elements of Shapes.

  1. Dots (roundish shapes filled in)
  2. Circles (roundish shapes not filled in)
  3. Straight Lines
  4. Curves
  5. Angles

I took a sheet of paper and drew examples of these 5 elements. Then Satori tried on her own on the left side of the sheet.

5 Elements of Shapes

5 Elements of Shapes

We then looked around for examples of these 5 elements everywhere and attempted to draw objects around us keeping these 5 elements in mind. We were on our deck, so Satori drew a bird feeder, our umbrella shade, and I drew a stool.


We will work a bit on this every week. DWT is highly recommended by Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, the style of which I will be incorporating in our own homeschooling style this fall.

We are going to be sketching and drawing a lot more, I can’t wait for Satori to start her Nature Journal, so I’d like her to get confident in her drawings! I’m reading Drawing With Children (more on this later) to teach her how to draw.

She got frustrated trying to draw this picture, so I let her trace it. She used a Prismacolor black marker and then used Crayola colored markers to fill it in. Other than showing her how to trace it, I did not help at all.


Who can guess who this guy is and which country he is in? No gifts this time for correct answers, but in a few weeks I’ll have another contest. 🙂

Last night I brought in our Lyra colored pencils and some paper and told Satori to freely draw whatever comes to mind as I read her the Tale of Despereaux. The results were interesting, it was fun to get a glimpse into her head this way. 🙂 We put these up on our Inspiration Wire and will be rotating new ones as we read the next chapter book (not yet planned).

These could be tiny spoilers, but I will do my best to not give away too much. We will be finishing up the book tomorrow, so all these pictures are of scenes toward the end. In her first drawing think Roscuro the rat even has his spoon on top of his head!

Mig and Roscuro leading Princess Pea down into the dark dungeon

Mig and Roscuro leading Princess Pea down into the dark dungeon

Someone eating tasty (but illegal) soup!

Someone eating tasty (but illegal) soup!

King crying in front of Despereaux

King crying in front of Despereaux

Tonight Satori decided she wanted to draw the tree of life with animals on it. I have no clue where she got this idea from, I never specifically talked about the tree of life, maybe she remembered it from a book.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

According to Satori, the above animals are: leopard, zebra, snake, sea turtle, owl, colorful lizard, alligator, and a gazelle. I love it!

Then we did a handwriting “test”, this is right before we officially go over practicing handwriting capital letters. I gave her a sheet of paper and told her to write her alphabet, no guidance provided. She got all the way to J before having to sing the alphabet to remember what’s next. As you can see, we have quite a ways to go to perfect handwriting, but I don’t think it’s bad for a preschooler!

Handwriting, dated 6/25/2009

Handwriting, dated 6/25/2009

Every month for the next few months I’ll be posting an update on her handwriting the alphabet, first in upper case, then in lower. I’m hoping we’ll see tons of progress using Handwriting Without Tears. 🙂

There is a little joke that it always snows when my mom visits, whether it be March or July. And sure enough today, after a string of sunny, hot days, as they walk into our house, it is snowing!

Snow stopped and didn’t stick, whew! After welcoming hugs, Grandpa made a beeline for our kitchen to setup his laptop to check his email. Satori showed everyone her new favorite website,


Both Grandpa and Grandma took turns drawing with Satori. We used our books “Draw Right Now” and our new Taro Gomi doodling book. Here is a lamb Satori made, she got a little carried away with its legs. Her drawing of an electocuted centipede lamb made us all laugh/smile.  She then sounded out LAMB and spelled it for us.

We spent some time reading in the loft. Satori read the entire Madeline book almost verbatim (from memory) to Grandma! Here Grandma is reading to her.

David finally got off his conference calls for an hour to say  hello to our visitors. And here I took a picture of our clean living room (carpets freshly washed), I usually try to avoid pictures here as it’s always filled with toys and messes! 🙂


Tomorrow is the big birthday party, so it might not be until Sunday until the blog is updated again. Monday we will start in on FIAR book A Rag Coat and practice our handwriting, reading, and math once again. 🙂

Well David got stuck at home on a business emergency, so we didn’t leave the house today. ‘Tis okay, it’s snowy anyway. On one of his breaks from the telephone, we all laid on our tummies to doodle.



I was trying to show Satori how to shade to make things more realistic, and my example was the crayon.