When I first opened my package from Timberdoodle and pulled out the Simply Draw with Bob Parsons Materials, I was impressed with the paper quality of the contents. The text is imprinted on nice thick cardstock type sheets. I like that. It makes me think it might survive a while in our house!
Later, as I put the sheets of lessons in a binder (200 pages) I noticed that in each chapter some sheets are designed so that your budding artist can just draw right in his/her book, if they wish to. I like the idea of that—it kind of builds ownership—I think. Later, I realized that the set includes a pdf set of practice pages as well—so that is useful for families with many students who want to reuse these lessons again and again.
As I looked in through all the materials, I also noticed and liked the author’s note, “The purpose of this book is to inspire people of all ages to enjoy drawing” Overall, the lessons are portrayed with a kind of cartoonish style—with a lot of pen and ink sketches. But do not be fooled by all the cartoon influence. This book lays a serious foundation of basic art terms and techniques and each chapter builds upon the previous one.
Within each lesson, there are several exercises and as your student works through these steps he/she will end up with a final drawing that they can be proud of.
I noticed that the author is a Dad of 6…so that explains his use of cartoon and comedy to walk students through basic art techniques, step by step, using fun illustrations. Kind of like my husband uses the “Robot” to help our little ones get to bed!
You can see a complete listing of the contents of Simply Draw, here.
I have to say that I have absolutely no artistic talent. I am so in awe of artists! As I looked through this art study, I was surprised that it made me want to draw. I think that is because the graphics in the book really pop out at you and it seems possible that you CAN do it…But, anyway, several of my kids are quite good, so I was excited to see what they had to say about Simply Draw.
My son, Sports Guy, offered his review services. He has a natural talent for art and he enjoyed the section on Short Parallel Lines and moved on into Shading and Shadow Tips. He also went ahead and drew the spaceship–in that lesson they are working on foreshortening and rectangle-oval strategy.
I have included some of his work in the photos. He commented that he liked the lessons—that they “were straightforward.”
I asked him to use the DVD as well, and he did not prefer that. The DVD is only for the computer and our computer did not recognize the Quicktime format at first. That was a bit of a pain. Sports Guy felt that was unnecessary anyway. He preferred just to use the book anyway. I think some kids might enjoy watching the DVD and working with that—maybe a younger child, especially.
To be honest, I liked watching. You can see an example of the lessons below.
I think this curriculum is very good for a young teen, especially from about 10 to 15 (it is set up for ages 8+–so that would be a focused child, I think). I also think many of the lessons may particularly appeal to boys. The cost of the program is $37.50.
As a member of Timberdoodle‘s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Simply Draw in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.