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Alte Veste Academy

People, I'm going to gush about the art instruction at The Virtual Instructor

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I am not really a gusher. I don't think I am anyway...besides for a couple of pet books maybe, but I don't think I've gushed in a while...

 

If you have an art lover who wants REAL instruction, not arts and crafts (OK, my DD also loves arts and crafts, LOL, but she also wanted to do REAL art, EVERY DAY), you need The Virtual Instructor. (I have no association with this site. Just FYI. :D ) 

 

My artistic DD11 is in love. I am in love. We've used this since the summer. She has always been a doggone good artist, but we are blown away by what she is producing now. DH comes home every day and goes  :huh:  :thumbup:  :blink:  :001_wub: . Tuesday she wanted to do art first, and I (naively) said yes. She spent 6 hours (6 HOURS! LOL) on an acrylic painting. It is amazing. It's all she ended up doing that day because her arms wouldn't work afterward, LOL, but it was worth it. 

 

Anyway, if you are in search of good art instruction, this is it.

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No, no live classes. She might want that later, but for now she just goes through the modules on her own time. And my boys (9 and almost 13) are doing the drawing/colored pencil/ink classes. Neither is especially artistic, but I'm pleased with their progress as well. 

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Post a photo of DD's work, please! ;)

 

 

Went to the website, and, not an artist here, but wow! That sure looks tempting and encouraging! :) Thanks for posting! :)

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Post a photo of DD's work, please! ;)

 

 

Went to the website, and, not an artist here, but wow! That sure looks tempting and encouraging! :) Thanks for posting! :)

 

She won't let me. :lol: She only shows her friends for now. 

 

I know I vacillated for a while because of price but finally DD's daily parroting of

 

I want to do real art

I want to do real art

I want to do REAL ART!

(RAAAAWK!! LOL) 

 

literally every day finally broke me. :lol: I've homeschooled from the beginning and bought a (euphemism alert) lot of stuff, but this is in my top 5 best purchases for sure, and takes the #1 spot for DD in particular. 

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The website says you can download the videos. What's to stop someone from paying for a month ($19) downloading it all and essentially stealing the product? What age range would you consider this for?

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The website says you can download the videos. What's to stop someone from paying for a month ($19) downloading it all and essentially stealing the product? What age range would you consider this for?

 

As to the first, I though the same thing when I began. How nice he is? How I already feel like I'm stealing to get it all for $97 a year? Fear of being struck by lightning via karma? 

 

I knew someone would ask me the age thing. Gah. This is a hard one. DD is VERY serious about art. She wants to be an artist when she grows up (and I can easily see this not changing). She has always been able to draw or paint for long periods and has never really liked to color. She always wants to be original. She has worked for hours on getting just the right twinkle in her eyes. Seriously, day after day after day for weeks she was working on eyes and light reflection. She just turned 11 in Oct. DS9 and even DS(almost!)13 can't work for as long as she can. Neither can I! :lol: So I would say it is more about commitment and love (and fanaticism? :lol: ) than age. But some courses are easier/faster. I mean pencil drawing is something you can do for a bit and walk away to pick up again tomorrow. DD does have a porcelain palette with a lid that will preserve her color mixing for the next day, but aside from those logistics, something like acrylic or oil is going to require more maturity, skill, sticktoitiveness, etc.

 

My favorite thing is that he is teaching real skills, language, and tools. It was such a big deal to her to get the real deal.

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As to the first, I though the same thing when I began. How nice he is? How I already feel like I'm stealing to get it all for $97 a year? Fear of being struck by lightning via karma?

 

I knew someone would ask me the age thing. Gah. This is a hard one. DD is VERY serious about art. She wants to be an artist when she grows up (and I can easily see this not changing). She has always been able to draw or paint for long periods and has never really liked to color. She always wants to be original. She has worked for hours on getting just the right twinkle in her eyes. Seriously, day after day after day for weeks she was working on eyes and light reflection. She just turned 11 in Oct. DS9 and even DS(almost!)13 can't work for as long as she can. Neither can I! :lol: So I would say it is more about commitment and love (and fanaticism? :lol: ) than age. But some courses are easier/faster. I mean pencil drawing is something you can do for a bit and walk away to pick up again tomorrow. DD does have a porcelain palette with a lid that will preserve her color mixing for the next day, but aside from those logistics, something like acrylic or oil is going to require more maturity, skill, sticktoitiveness, etc.

 

My favorite thing is that he is teaching real skills, language, and tools. It was such a big deal to her to get the real deal.

It sounds awesome. I'm going to email him about just downloading it and see what he thinks is fair. I'd rather just do it all at my leisure. My son is only 5 so I think I'll get it for me and decide when he can start. Thanks for recommending it!
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The website says you can download the videos. What's to stop someone from paying for a month ($19) downloading it all and essentially stealing the product?

 

Perhaps only certain classes are "unlocked" for download each month??? And even if there are no safeguards to prevent downloading everything in one month and then dropping the service, perhaps people could consider making a donation to pay for all that volume of material if deciding to pay for just one month of service -- In other words, repay his generosity of volume of quality material, with a financial gift of generosity. :)

 

One way they encourage you to keep returning is that new classes are uploaded weekly, so you would be missing all of that new content….

Edited by Lori D.
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Perhaps only certain classes are "unlocked" for download each month??? And even if there are no safeguards to prevent downloading everything in one month and then dropping the service, perhaps people could consider making a donation to pay for all that volume of material if deciding to pay for just one month of service -- In other words, repay his generosity of volume of quality material, with a financial gift of generosity. :)

 

One way they encourage you to keep returning is that new classes are uploaded weekly, so you would be missing all of that new content….

I wouldn't actually do that. :) But that's what I'd like to do and I was wondering if he had a price for it. I'm going to email him.

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I recently purchased just the Secrets to Drawing Class for $30 and there is no expiration date on it.  We are on Module 5 and we're all really enjoying it. 

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I wouldn't actually do that. :) But that's what I'd like to do and I was wondering if he had a price for it. I'm going to email him.

And you should post the results when you know... Please!

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And you should post the results when you know... Please!

 

I didn't realize you could just buy the courses. I was on my phone :blushing:. I'm going to just do that so as he comes out with new videos I'll get them. I only want the drawing one now ($30) and if they really don't expire and I use them for a long time it'll be more economical then buying them year after year. I did get the three free videos and I'm watching him draw a gorilla now.

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What's the deal with materials? Is there a list?

 

Thank you for the post. We are signed up for an art class locally but I do want to check this out, because I want to make sure art is not short changed here.

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This looks wonderful.  I've paid $200+ a school year for in-person classes for just one child (I have 2 children).  This looks very worth it for a year membership to get all the lessons and I can do it along with my kids.  Thanks for posting.

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She has always been able to draw or paint for long periods and has never really liked to color. She always wants to be original. 

 

My dd is very similar. From a very young age, she would take coloring pages and flip them over to the blank side and draw. She still prefers drawing over coloring.

 

I think she would LOVE this, but she's only 8 (2nd grade). Too young? I'm also debating between the drawing course and the colored pencil course. Could a young beginner start at either one? 

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My dd is very similar. From a very young age, she would take coloring pages and flip them over to the blank side and draw. She still prefers drawing over coloring.

 

I think she would LOVE this, but she's only 8 (2nd grade). Too young? I'm also debating between the drawing course and the colored pencil course. Could a young beginner start at either one?

I got the three free videos. One was a drawing one (drawing from a photo) and the other 2 I didn't care about. Pastels and oil painting me thinks, but not colored pencils. An 8 year old could benefit from the video I watched. If I were you I'd do the $1 week and play around.

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My dd is very similar. From a very young age, she would take coloring pages and flip them over to the blank side and draw. She still prefers drawing over coloring.

 

I think she would LOVE this, but she's only 8 (2nd grade). Too young? I'm also debating between the drawing course and the colored pencil course. Could a young beginner start at either one?

At 8, my DD could have done drawing, ink, or colored pencil. She would have benefitted greatly from me doing them alongside though. She is very social. Now she still likes me to do art with her, but is mature enough to work on her own for much longer periods. I agree that the trial would be great for you.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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He does sell individual courses for a reasonable price.  I have considered buying the drawing course for my ds2 a couple times. He loves to draw and would like to get better at it.

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Yes, his individual courses are a good deal. I am doing the yearly thing because DD is very eclectic. She is interested in it all, and I wanted her to be able to follow her mood willy-nilly. 

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Yes, his individual courses are a good deal. I am doing the yearly thing because DD is very eclectic. She is interested in it all, and I wanted her to be able to follow her mood willy-nilly.

With her all over the place, How do *you* handle supplies?

Edited by athomeontheprairie

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With her all over the place, How do *you* handle supplies?

 

I don't handle supplies. She does. I "Montessoried" her for art at the point when it became too much effort for me.  :tongue_smilie: Seriously though, she has learned a place for everything and everything in its place as far as her art supplies are concerned. When she wants to do anything, she gets out what she needs, does it, and puts it away again. (I admit I did clean her brushes for her after her marathon session this week. LOL) Her sewing and crafts things are kept in her bedroom (where there is carpet), but all her art supplies stay in the schoolroom (where there are hard floors). She has her own school table and this three tier IKEA cart filled with jars holding her brushes, paint tubes, palette, pastels, and everything else. We collect pretty jars from Hobby Lobby, Michael's, World Market...we like pretty jars. For Christmas we got her this convertible easel (which is made to recline for oil and acrylic, lay flat for watercolor, and angle slightly forward for pastels—so cool!), and she stores her canvas and paper pads on the bottom shelf. She stores her canvas boards between a bookshelf and the wall. She has a few shelves on the bookshelf closest to her desk. 

 

I think Alte Viste should get a discount after this.

 

:iagree:  :laugh:

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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This looks really good.  I think I'll try the month, my dd 8 is very interested in drawing and I think would love the drawing and coloured pencil modules!

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Dang it, why couldn't you have mentioned this 2 weeks ago, when I bought Drawing with Children and Artistic Pursuits for DD (also 11), who has developed a fanaticism for drawing? I may have to buy the drawing and colored pencil courses and keep them secret until she finishes AP.  :lol:

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With her all over the place, How do *you* handle supplies?

I guess I meant, did you just go to the store and buy A wide assortment of supplies? Did you need to buy Materials for courses that she might be interested in? Does she start a course, and then come and Tell you if she needs certain items?

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I guess I meant, did you just go to the store and buy A wide assortment of supplies? Did you need to buy Materials for courses that she might be interested in? Does she start a course, and then come and Tell you if she needs certain items?

That is an easier spin on the question. We have been accumulating things for years for school, and she always gets art gifts for holidays and her birthday, so lots of stuff is already on hand. But yes, when she starts a course, we shop for any of the materials we don't already have.

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A question for those of you already using it - what if your kid is not keen on learning art? My son has had some disastrous experiences learning to draw in the past and really doesn't want to. I think it is a valuable skill to have. do you think one of these courses would be worth checking out?

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This looks amazing for my 12 year old artist dd. She's been taking private lessons twice a month from a local artist that attends the same church we do, but I've been looking for something to supplement those lessons and this looks perfect. Thanks for gushing about it!

Edited by jjeepa
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A question for those of you already using it - what if your kid is not keen on learning art? My son has had some disastrous experiences learning to draw in the past and really doesn't want to. I think it is a valuable skill to have. do you think one of these courses would be worth checking out?

 

I don't have a kid who doesn't want to learn, so this is hard for me to answer. What I will say is that Matt has a great attitude about teaching. He does believe anyone can learn. Also, he is very clear that finished pieces require continued effort and that everyone produces things they don't like. During one of DD's acrylic lessons, he talked about how developing the painting means patience through the layers and that lots of people give up a painting prematurely because they don't like the way it looks, not understanding that it won't look great at every stage. If you look at the way artists draw, the beginning is very very rough. It's because they work in stages/layers that they get the final product to look amazing. Novices think every stroke they make needs to be amazing, but that's not how art works, generally. 

 

Anyway, try the trial period maybe and see how it goes. You can even ask him questions. 

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Just wanted to say thanks for posting. My ds decided to go with the soft pastel videos. We just bought the single to try it out. He is really liking it. This is great timing as we needed something "more".

 

Kristen

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This looks great. I'm the mom who doesn't do art. I did crafts with my olders when they were in primary grades but I'm not an artist and can't really teach it.  THANK YOU for sharing this! I can see this being the dessert for our school next year.

 

Do you set aside one day for art (Friday Art?) or is it a masterly activity they can spend free time on or is it scheduled everyday? 

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I just wanted to chime in and say that my ds 15 also loves Virtual Instructor.  I did pay for the year and have only recently started to download some of the videos (we have spotty internet at some of the time's ds wants to use it, so hopefully this will solve that problem).  I'm really impressed with the level of instruction and video quality.  I'm not sure that you can sign up just for a month and then download all of the videos, but I wouldn't anyway---it is worth the price and he is always adding new content.  Keep in mind---it will take a lot of time to download it all.  The Secrets to Drawing course alone has 25 modules and each module has a downloadable pdf (the pdf basically goes over what was covered, so you can refresh your memory without rewatching  the vid).

 

I do have plans to use it with my other kids (and myself) this spring.  This is one purchase that was well worth the price.

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Do you set aside one day for art (Friday Art?) or is it a masterly activity they can spend free time on or is it scheduled everyday?

It has always been scheduled every day. What I am doing now (after yet another change in how I schedule everything) is giving each kid a daily checklist, and they can work on whatever hobby they wish when they complete it. The faster they finish their assigned work, the longer they have for their fun stuff. DD is all about art, so that is what she does and why she is much further along than either of my boys. I also bought a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud for her which has been a huge hit. Sometimes she chooses traditional art, sometimes digital, sometimes crafts, sometimes sewing—whatever she is in the mood for.

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