September 18, 2013

Ms. Wood's Wild Art Adventures Review and GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Today I am excited to bring you our family's review of Ms. Wood's Wild Art Adventures AND I have a FREE copy to giveaway! You can get entered to win at the end of this post, but first I want to share with you our family's adventures using this book.

When the opportunity became available to review this book, I jumped on it! I am NOT a paint/draw artsy kind of person. My Mother-in-Law is our "art teacher" because she IS. She is actually an art major. Highly convenient for me, huh? I thought it would be fun to review this book and include her in our review.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Ms. Wood in return of my review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

We have at this time completed two of the five lessons. For this review, we were using the eBook version of the magazine.
Which meant I had to haul my laptop wherever we were going to work...not the best scenario, but it worked out fine. If I had an eBook reader it would have been infinitely better and easier! LOL!

I included my mother-in-law's thoughts on this book in this review since she is an Art Major and was an art teacher for the Boys and Girls Club here locally. I thought having her perspective would make this review even more valuable. We did our lessons at her house. (Hence the reason having a print copy would have been so much nicer! LOL!) My Baby Britches ran into her house the first day yelling "Peent! Peent!" because he knew we were going to be using paint. I included him in the lesson too.

The first thing that I loved was the colors of the book. It is so vivid and bright it just makes you WANT to open it! I know that if we had the print copy, my son would have been tearing into it immediately. The writing style of the book is easy for someone to read aloud, or for an older student to do independently. We loved the dialogue as it talks about Ms. Woods going on an adventure so it's written like a story in parts.

The first lesson of the book is learning how to draw clouds using watercolor paints. The step-by-step process for the painting is great for someone lacking artistic inclinations teach a lesson like this. It was nice to start off with something easy that anyone can draw. Ms. Wood even describes how to mix colors to get new colors so that you don't have to have a lot of different colored tubes of paint. We chose to use cheap Crayola watercolor palatte's for our first lesson. (But I did later buy tubes of paint for future lessons.)

Here are some photos from our first lesson...
Little Britches drawing his cloud lines

Adding in the sky colors

Baby Britches adding his sky

Adding in some shadows

Adding PLENTY of color to his sky

Our three "cloud" paintings

At the end of each lesson there are sample paintings done by the author in the likeness of three different Master Artists about the topic that was painted. So like for this one there were three artists versions of clouds. Little Britches liked the paintings at the bottom of the lesson and after looking at each one told me that he liked the middle one the best because it looked the most real. But he liked how each style was different. This was a great lesson on how each person has a different style.

My mother-in-law likes that the book starts off simple…clouds can be abstract and simple and are a good place to start.  The three paintings at the end of each lesson shows the student that there is no perfect way to do something…something she notices in her art classes that children struggle on. Accepting that there are more than one impressions or designs of something and that there is no WRONG way to do things in art because we all see things differently. She loved this aspect of the book.

With one lesson we were all hooked! 
The next lesson in the book moves us to the rainforest. The illustrations are stunning and very detailed! We enjoyed using a different medium for this lesson. Little Britches used his new colored pencils, I use my watercolor pencils and Baby Britches used his new box of color crayons. The step-by-step drawing of a leaf was oh so easy to go through and instruct.

Tracing his pencil lines of his leaf

Little Britches working on a new technique of shading

My leaf progress

Making lines so precise

Baby Britches really got into it...
A work of art!

My leaf and a few flowers from the illustration...

Little Britches loved how simple it was to draw an “elephant leaf” and then after he was done with the leaf, he decided he wanted to try drawing more from the big rainforest picture. So he did. He loves to draw and kept looking at the book picture for ideas. He added vines, snakes, flowers…and then when he saw the little jaguar face hiding in the leaves, he drew an entire jaguar. He even was inspired to draw “Ms. Woods”! He REALLY enjoyed this lesson.
Once again there were the author's replications of three famous paintings of leaves and trees. Little Britches immediately declared which one he liked the best—it’s always the one that is easy for him to tell what it is. I don’t blame him there. LOL! He's not one for the abstract.

My mother-in-law liked the simple shading technique as well as the instruction on contour lines with just basic explanation and then incorporating it immediately in the drawing lesson. She also liked how this second lesson was a small step up from the first lesson incorporating slightly more detail to the pictures but keeping it simple enough for young children.

The next lesson moves to drawing a toucan...we will be attempting it at our next art class with my mother-in-law next week.

After using it this far, here is a summary of my thoughts on the book.


It's perfect for a group to work on together, or for a student to do solo. If the children are young, a parent can easily read the tutorials and guide the lesson. If the student is old enough to read on her own, than it's a perfect independent art study!

Not only are you going to get five art tutorials, but you are going to learn about Master Artists and their styles, art vocabulary and definitions. Not to mention the illustrations are a real treat! At the end of the book there is even a list of "hidden" things in the illustrations that can be found by the student as well as a few other activities.

Our primary con was that it was just too short! I'd love to have a full curriculum done in this style! We will definitely be keeping our eyes open for Ms. Wood's next Wild Art Adventure!

My #1 recommendation would be to buy the PRINT copy! I think it would be sooo much easier to teach and use. You could ultimately even take this book outside to use as resource during Nature Study! Again, though that's hard to do if you have it only on an eReader. So it's a great buy--but buy it in print!

Ready for the Giveaway?

Ms. Wood's has graciously donated a copy for me to giveaway to one of you! Please use the Rafflecopter widget here to get entered to win!
Don't want to wait? You can head on over to Ms. Jan Wood's website and snag yourself a signed copy of the book or order the eBook to use right away!

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