* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I`ve always been really good at drawing but I couldn`t even paint a decent stick person, but I wanted to learn. When I saw the first Art Course magazine on sale I thought I`d give it a try, but I wasn`t very optimistic of it being able to turn me into an artist. This is the only magazine that I have ever found that has actually taught me something. It is so easy to follow, and each issue is different. The first issue was £1.99 with a free art box that had a few paints in it. It is now published every 2 weeks for £2.99 and with it you get a free piece of art equipment to add to your box. These include, water colour, acrylic and oil paints, drawing and coloured pencils, paintbrushes, charcoal, pastels as well as stuff that doesn`t go in the box, like palette knives, drawing grids, a paint brush holder and much more. You are taught how to paint and draw in a step by step format, and because each step is accompanied by clear pictures and comprehensive instructions, even a total idiot would be able to learn the basics. Each issue is laid out in the same way, consisting of the same seven chapters but with different content each time. Chapter 1: Drawing Know-How ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This section teaches you how to draw a mixture of basic and detailed pictures. You get to draw a range of topics, such as people, objects and landscapes. You are also taught how to use the different mediums, such as lead pencils, coloured and water based pencils, charcoal, pastels, and oil pastels. Chapter 2: Basics ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This chapter covers a diverse range of subjects, but it all boils down to giving you as much extra knowledge that it can cover to be able to turn you into a competent artist. There are many different headings under this chapter, but I`ll just give you a few examples. TOOLS: You get to know about such things as what size and shape brushes are available, what they are called and what they
are used for. What other items can be used for painting, like palette knives and sponges. Also what all the paper weights mean, and how to choose the right one for using pencils, paints, and pastels. Techniques: Here you learn how to stretch paper, and prepare a canvas. How to use lighting to enhance your pictures. When to using masking tape to get different effects in a painting, and many more techniques that you will find invaluable. Composition: How to use shadows and distortion to make the same painting subject totally different. How to use a grid to make an outdoor scene easier to draw. How to use reflected light and colour to enhance your paintings, and much more. Chapter 3: Indoor View ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is another step by step guide into how to paint an interesting picture using everyday objects from around your house. You learn how to do a picture of the same object using different mediums to acquire a tottally different effect. Chapter 4: Outdoor view ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is another step by step guide into how to paint an outdoor scene. You learn how to take advantage of the changes in the weather and the light to create stunning works of art. This was actually my favourite part as I managed to do a really good picture of a snow scene using masking tape. I always wondered how people managed to paint snow on white paper so that it does actually look like snow, and now I know. Chapter 5: Basics ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a variation of chapter 2 using the same subheadings,but it is more like a history lesson though. Here you see pictures painted by different famous artists and learn a bit about the artist himself, and also how he incorporated the different tools and techniques into his work to create a better picture. Chapter 6: Something Different ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This chapter is almost like being back at nursery school, and not only is it f
un for you, but if you have kids then you can get them involved in some of the different projects. This is all about making things. Some of them are a bit unusual but they are great fun to make, but some of this stuff is actually really useful.This section is also laid out in a step by step guide, so some kids could actually do several of the tasks without your help. At the beginning of the chapter you are first given a list of all the materials you will need so that you can be organised, and a lot of the items are bits and pieces that you will most probaly find lying around your house. Just to give you a brief example, here is a list of some of the projects featured. Picture frames Collages Cards Table decorations like candlesticks Plate decorating Wire sculptures Masks T-shirt printing Decorative mirrors Postcard box Wire lantern As you can see, there`s a wide range of subjects, so you`re bound to find something to interest you. Chapter 7: Art Speak ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the last page in the magazine and gives you a more in depth guide to some of the artists and technical terms that are mentioned in that issue. This is replaced part way through the series by a detailed description of a particular art gallery instead. Two of the galleries that have been featured are the National Gallery in London, and New York`s Museum of Modern Art. Taken from the magazine "The step-by-step Art Course is devised and put together by a panel of experts, led by Richard Taylor BA(Hons), Cert. Ed. Art & Design(Cambridge). Richard is a practising artist and art teacher. He is the author of a series of books on painting and drawing, and appears both on television and in art-teaching videos." This is a fantastic course that has taught me a great deal over the many months that I have been using it. I can now paint some quite good pictures of my own instead of just the step by step
ones featured in the magazines. I order mine from my local shop, but it`s also available by post through a subscription. I wouldn`t reccomend the subscription though as I`ve been told by quite a few people that it`s not very reliable and you can regularly end up quite a way behind the issues that are in the shops. It`s available in most newsagents on the magazine shelves, but you`ll find that after the first few issues that you`ll have to order it as they won`t continue to stock the entire series. Art course is now available on video as well. If you are interested in this series and want to know more, then you can visit the website at www.art-course.com. The Art Course series is published by De Agostini UK Ltd, this company have also published a huge amount of other series type magazines on a wide array of topics, if you want to know more then you can visit the website at www.deagostini.co.uk .
I bought the first issue of Art Course after I was given a set of acrylic paints for Xmas and discovered that this was actually a stress-busting activity that I could slot into the few spare minutes I have in a day. It came with free paints, a separate video, nice easy-to-follow instructions and advice on how to fix the inevitable splodges and botches! I enjoyed the first issue so I decided to subscribe. Over a month later, I was still waiting for issues 2 and 3 while the shops had raced ahead by at least 2 issues. I called the customer service line. After holding for 10 minutes I decided to leave a message on their automated answerphone. The ansafone message assures you that you will be treated with the same priority as those who managed to get through to a human operator. A week later I still hadn't heard anything so I tried my luck on the phone again (hoping that the ansafone was lying and I wasn't going to be kept on hold for a week!). I was told that they were having problems and that I would receive my magazines shortly. A couple of weeks later, they arrived. However, this has happened with every issue and the shops are storming into a big lead (I think they're on issue 9 or 10 and I'm only up to 5!). Now they've sent two copies of video 2 but no video 3. I'm still waiting after 2 weeks since I called them. The magazine and video are nice enough, but when you add up the total cost of the entire course (including art materials) and compare it with a decent book or evening class plus materials, I think you'll find you're significantly out of pocket. Added to which, at least a book you can buy in one piece and not have to wait 6 months for chapter 2 to arrive!