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How to Draw... with Jan BrettBy Vicki McClure Davidson
Here's a gem of a website for free, fanciful art instruction using video. Because of its advanced nature, it is really recommended for older homeschoolers and public school students. Acclaimed children's author and illustrator Jan Brett presents many easy-to-follow, upbeat videos that students can watch on the computer for free, enhancing and supplementing their at-home art lessons.
Ms. Brett goes at a moderate pace, explaining her drawing techniques and giving valuable artist tips as she sketches and paints, like how to create dimension, how to easily remove drip lines from watercolors, and how to paint realistic shadows. The art instructions are likely too advanced for younger students, but a homeschooling parent could watch them and then adapt them for elementary students. Click here to see the video selections.
Video how-to's include how to draw a dolphin, a baby polar bear, a hedgehog, a chick, a bunny, an African okapi, a Siberian Husky dog, a rhinoceros, horses, and many others.
The length of the instructional videos vary, with the running time averaging about 15 minutes. Several are longer than 20 minutes, such as the baby polar bear and the train how-to-draw videos. Video play options use Windows Media Broadband (.wmv) and Real Video Broadband (.rm) formats. Be aware that some of the videos prompt to run or save, while others automatically download to the temporary folder on your computer. Not that either is a concern—just wanted to let you know.
In addition, there are links on the website to many online, creative activities for kids (like how to design printable cards and envelopes, kids coloring pages, recipes, murals, and other arts and craft projects) and other community projects that Ms. Brett is spearheading.
The website also provides updates about her Gingerbread Friends tour and a list of her books with links and directions for ordering online.
Check it out. This delightful website has much to offer—for free.
Video snapshot from "How to Draw a Bunny" with artist Jan Brett
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