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What level of ATELIER?


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Based on the recommendations of so many people in this forum I have decided to get ATELIER art lessons. I looked at the website but I'm confused about the levels. I have two boys -- 9 and 10 years old. They have had art experience and some knowledge of the basics, so I'm thinking probably level 5, but they are the right ages for levels 4 and 6 too. Does anyone have any insight as to what level to choose? Also, should we do the lessons in order, module A first, then B, then C? Thanks!!

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Call the company. They are wonderful about listening to you, and helping you assess your children's level.


In general, shoot for the middle. The grey areas are "could do, but might be too easy or too frustrating. The black areas are what you want to shoot for. You know your kids, so you'll know whether the older one is likely to feel silly for doing "babyish" things, or if the younger is more likely to feel frustrated doing more complicated things. It sounds like Level 5 would be a good fit.


But, again, call the company. They were very helpful to me when I was trying to place my dc.

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I have used 1, 3-5 and I saw if they have art background, go for 5. :) But there were some neat project in 4 too. :D If you check out my weekly reports (haven't posted in the last 2 weeks so their last 2 projects are not up yet),you will see some of the kids art work from Atelier. Jake and Holly used 3, and now are just getting into 4 and Timmy (and sometimes Jess) completed 4 and are on to level 5.


I don't think it really is necessary to do them in order (module a, b, c). Sometimes they refer briefly back to previous modules, but it isn't anything you can't work around.


Personally, I am an in the order type of gal and I would do them in order. But is something is preventing you from doing it in order, don't worry about it. :)

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Tina, how difficult is it to use two different levels? I have a just turned 7 year old and an 11 year old and feel that they should really probably use different levels but I wasn't sure I would actually do it if doing them separate would be too time consuming. I have a hard time fitting everything in and like to combine them when possible.




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Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Here are my thoughts...


Thinking of my 7 year old and my 12 year old, their fine moter skills are very different, so I understand your concerns.


I teach a class for 6-9 and 10-13. We used 4 with the older kids in the begining of the co-op year, but just recently moved into 4 with the younger aged kids. They are doing really well with it. But they just completed level 3, so they had basic art skills. Even with saying that, I think the video is so gentle in approach your 7 year would do fine even if their isn't a lot of basic art skill.


I wouldn't go down in grade level for your oldest, instead teach to your oldest and have your 7 year old follow along. Much like you would do with other subjects. I think your 7 year old and 11 year old would do fine with Level 4. I just checked the site and they gave an example of a 8 year old and 11 yeard working together and recommend level 4 or 5.


As far as the time involved. I would say on an average you should plan for an hour. Some projects do take 2 days to complete, or if you are at home, you could finish it up in 1 day. :) And a lot of the basic supplies are needed for all the levels. If you decide to go this route, get the parent manual. It really explains a lot about the program. :D


Again, sorry I didn't see this sooner. And I hope it helps you make a decision 1 way or another. :)



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Thanks everyone for your comments. I placed my order today for Level 5, after receiving an e-mail from Atelier that described Level 4 and 5 in great detail. I thought the details might be helpful to others, so here is the description of Level 4 (Module 4). I'll post Level 5 next.






COLOR: HOT AIR BALLOONS Students review primary colors and how to mix secondary and tertiary colors. They discuss hot air balloons, paint a color wheel, design a hot air balloon, and then paint it with all of the colors of the color wheel. (22:30)

MEDIA: THE STORMY, RAINY DAY Students learn how to create a stormy day on paper by dabbing colors into a wet surface and then allowing them to run together. They learn which colors create a stormy atmosphere and discuss how to cut figures to paste on their backgrounds that will create the look of the wind blowing. (12:20)

DRAWING: PEOPLE CONTOURS Students review contour drawing techniques and take turns modeling for the class as they contour draw the figures, overlapping the drawings. They then study creating space in a picture as they select which figures will be in front of or behind the others; and finally they select one figure to color in detail. (21:30)

COMPOSITION: SHAPE TO LINE Students look for shapes in a still life. They discuss how complicated shapes are made up of simple shapes and they learn to use a view finder to look at a still life and to plan their compositions. They recreate a still life starting with torn shapes and finishing with contour line. (9:20)

COLOR: CLOWNS Students discuss the meaning of color value and paint a value scale using one color plus either black or white. They are motivated to create an imaginative clown by looking at pictures of clowns. They draw a large clown with black marking pen and paint it with one color and at least four values of that color. (24:30)

COMPOSITION: FALL OR SPRING LANDSCAPE Students review the term "pattern" and identify patterns in their surroundings and on samples of fabric and wallpaper. They learn to find patterns in the outdoor landscape and discuss what types of patterns one might see in a fall or spring landscape. Then they create a landscape scene (fall or spring) with a horizon line high on the paper, filling the fields with contrasting patterns. (8:00)







MEDIA EXPLORATION: PRINT-A-TOWN Students learn that compositions can be cre-ated by repeating the same shapes, over and over again. They discuss different printing techniques that can be used to create a picture of a town, learn how to make printing blocks with styrofoam and cardboard, and then use a variety of materials to print a picture of a town. (16:30)

SELF-EXPRESSION: THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS Students discuss how different artists will portray the same story in many different ways. They compare a group of "The Night Before Christmas" books illustrated by different artists, listen to the story read and discussed, and choose a phrase from the poem to illustrate. (12:00)

SELF-EXPRESSION: SELF PORTRAIT – WHO AM I? Students learn the correct proportions of a face and do a warm-up, drawing the face in proportion. They discuss how they would portray themselves if they were to show themselves as “who they want to be in the future†or “who they are in their daydreamsâ€, and then create a self-portrait of themselves as “who they would like to be†using important details to explain their pictures. (26:45)

COMPOSITION: PARADE Students discuss the excitement of a parade marching down the street and what they would see in the parade, listen to a marching band on tape, discuss uniforms and costumes of parade members, and discuss how to make a band marching down the street in unison by making a pattern of a figure and drawing around it as many times as needed. They then create a picture of a parade with a crowd in the background. (11:00)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: GEORGES ROUAULT Students discuss the life and contribution of Georges Rouault and study the style of the artist by looking at art prints of his work. They learn the technique of double-loading the brush with paint, create a stained-glass window effect similar to Rouault's by outlining everything in black and double-loading colors on their brushes, and then paint kings and queens using face cards as drawing aids. (13:30)

FORM: CLAY ANIMALS Students study animal shapes by looking at pictures. They learn how to make an animal out of clay by building up shapes, starting with large shapes and working to small shapes, and they create a clay animal. (22:45)







LINE: TEDDY BEAR PATCHWORK Students review the use of line to make interesting patterns and contrasts and also review contour drawing techniques. They then contour draw their teddy bears in paper squares and create line patterns in the background of bear drawings to create contrasting squares for a teddy bear patchwork. (8: 15)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: HENRI ROUSSEAU – THE NIGHT JUNGLE Students study the life and style of Henri Rousseau, study his jungle paintings looking at colors and leaves, and focus on the animals in Rousseau's paintings. They then create a Rousseau-like picture with crayon, coloring with thick layers, and paint over the entire picture with thin black paint to create a night jungle. (15:00)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: CLAUDE MONET Students study the life, style and contribu-tion to art of Claude Monet, discuss Impressionism, and focus on how Monet showed the effects of light on color by going outside to paint the landscape and other objects in the changing light of the day. They imitate his style using a wet brush dipped in dry powdered tempera. (12:30)

ART HISTORY: CAVE ART Students study prehistoric art found in the caves of France and Spain, study the textures and colors of cave walls and attempt to recreate them with crayon rubbings on a rough surface. They contour draw from prehistoric cave drawings (bison, stags, deer, horses), cut out the drawn figures, and crayon-rub them into the cave texture rubbings. (18:35)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: RAOUL DUFY - FLOWERS Students discuss the life and style of Raoul Dufy and study prints of Dufy, focusing on his colorful paintings of flowers. They discuss his wet-into-wet technique and use of calligraphic brush strokes, and create a Dufy-like painting using his techniques. (15:00)

SPACE: PEOPLE IN SPACE Students review concepts of creating a sense of space in a picture and are given guidelines on how to use these concepts in a picture of a group of people. They select a place for their group of people to be and then design the people and the background with appropriate details. (9:00)

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And here is Level 5 (Module 5):


LINE: ANIMAL DESIGNS Students discuss how artists can use line to create an entire composition. They explore and practice a variety of lines and line patterns as a way to create interest and contrast, and then draw a simple animal shape and design it with a variety of line patterns. (11:50)

COMPOSITION: CAT CONTOURS Students discuss cats as the subject of their artwork and study photos and artwork of cats, focusing on the artist's use of placing solid shapes against patterned areas and patterns against solid areas. They review contour drawing, do several contour drawing warm-ups, and select a cat picture to contour draw and use as the subject of a composition focusing on the contrast of solid shapes against patterns. (12:30)

COLOR: HORIZON LINE (EXPRESSIONISM) Students review the color wheel, discuss EXPRESSIONISM while studying art prints, paint the color wheel and an outdoor scene with a horizon line high on the picture plane, and paint colors in an Expressionistic manner. (30:15)

COMPOSlTION: STILL LIFE Students learn to use a viewfinder window to frame a still life set-up in the classroom, learn to look at negative space and the direction of lines to the edges of the paper, and then draw and paint a still life. (7:30)

COLOR: THE WILD THINGS Students discuss what they associate with the term wild things, and then listen to a poem about wild things in a summer night adventure. They discuss what the wild things looked like in the poem, paint a color value scale, and draw a large wild thing and paint it in the tints and shades of one color. They then cut out the wild things for a mural, draw and paint leaves and trees for the backgrounds of the mural, and tape everything onto it. (23:00)

SELF-EXPRESSION: MY HAPPIEST MEMORY Students study the artwork of Mary Engelbreit, whose pictures tell a story of happy moments, and discuss how to focus on the action in a story-telling picture, keeping the figures large and the composition simple. They discuss their happy memories, close their eyes for a quiet period of recalling their happiest memories, and learn to use details to tell the story. They then draw in pencil, paint in watercolor and draw details with pen to create a picture of their happiest memory. (9:25)






MEDIA: CROWD AND ACTION PAINTING Students learn the technique of painting tempera in layers, allowing under-layers to dry so that details can be painted on top of them, learn to mix skin tones with tempera in order to paint faces in a crowd, and create a painting of a sporting event with a crowd in the grandstand. (20:00)

MEDIA & SELF-EXPRESSION: MAGIC CIRCUS Part 1:Students learn how to paint a watercolor wash and how to create the appearance of space in a landscape by fading colors in the distance. They experiment with wet-into-wet techniques as they create a background for a “Magic Circus†picture. Part 2: Students discuss the concept of a “Magic Circusâ€, study their wet-into-wet watercolor backgrounds for ideas, and create a magical (unreal) circus picture with colored marking pen drawings pasted on their watercolor backgrounds. (Part 1: 18:25; Part 2: 8:40; Total: 27:05)

SPACE: OVERLAPPING ANIMAL SHAPES Students review contour drawing and discuss creating space by overlapping shapes. They contour draw from small animal statues, turning the statues after each drawing to draw them from different angles, and overlap the drawings to create the sense of space. (10:30)

MEDIA: PAINT AND SCRATCH Students experiment with tempera paint, exploring the technique of painting a wet layer of paint over a dry layer of paint, scratching through the wet layer to create contrasting colors and textures. They then create an imaginative colorful animal using this technique. (11:50)

TEXTURE: FABRIC PICTURE Students discuss the meaning of visual and tactile texture while studying a variety of textures in fabrics and fabric pictures. They plan and create a fabric picture using a variety of textures. (13:15)

FORM: COIL POTS Students study pots made by Southwestern Indians, discuss how to create a coil pot, create a clay pot in the coil pot technique, and imitate Southwest Indian designs and techniques when decorating their pots. (22:30)






SELF-EXPRESSION: MERRY-GO-ROUND Students discuss merry-go-rounds while looking at pictures of old merry-go-round horses, learn two methods of drawing a horse, and do a warm-up contour drawing from models and pictures. They draw a merry-go-round horse, imaginatively decorate it, and paint their horses with tempera. (16:25)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: MARC CHAGALL Students discuss the life and style of Marc Chagall and look at art prints of his work, studying them for recurring images. They create a "Chagall-like" painting using the crayon-resist technique. (8:55)

TEXTURE: EARTH WEAVING Students discuss how to create textures in weaving, using natural materials. They collect their own earth materials (grasses, sticks, bark, seaweed. etc.) and learn how to weave using earth materials to create a variety of textures. (20:45)

DRAWING: TOY DRAWING Students discuss how drawing things accurately requires looking carefully at the object being drawn and do a warm-up activity of comparing a memory drawing to a drawing done by careful observation. They discuss drawing techniques: 1) careful looking, 2) contour drawing, 3) seeing shapes, and 4) looking for spaces and details. They accurately draw a toy that they have brought to school. (8:15)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: HENRI MATISSE Students discuss the life and style of Henri Matisse, look at his use of bold flat color while studying art prints of his work, and study his decorative use of line. They discuss the method in which he worked in the painting, THE PURPLE ROBE and then create a "Matisse-like" painting working from a model. (11:50)

ARTIST APPRECIATION: VINCENT VAN GOGH Students discuss the life and style of Vincent Van Gogh and study Van Gogh's use of energetic brush stroke and thickly applied paint. They create a "Van Gogh-like" painting imitating the thick energetic brush stroke with the chalk and starch technique. (10:40)

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