Wednesday, June 5

Review of See the Light

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My art-loving girls have loved this latest review. We had the opportunity to choose a DVD from See the Light, an art and story collection that is phenomenal. We opted to receive Shipwrecked, which tells the story of Paul's shipwreck experience from the book of Acts. The story is told from the perspective of a young boy named Giovanni, which helps students envision the story from the viewpoint of a child. Obviously, we don't know much detail about the other passengers on that ship, but it is was interesting to imagine what it might have been like.
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While the story was being told, an artist drew it out with chalks, beautifully illustrating the adventure as we went along. It was fascinating to watch it all unfold. An incredible "surprise" feature to See the Light art is the use of fluorescent media and black light. We watched the illustration bloom in regular color and light, but at the very end, a black light is turned on and another picture in fluorescent chalk appears. It all points to Christ and this special effect just takes my breath away.

In addition to the well-told story, the DVD contains 3 separate art lessons, taught be 3 different artists.

The first lesson is taught by Heidi Shorts and it focuses on the courage of Paul in the midst of the storm. I love that Heidi encourages students to remember where their source of courage comes from. This lesson teaches Creative Lettering by building the word COURAGE to look like it is fashioned from bits of wood from the ship broken up in the storm.

I was amazed at how well these turned out. Heidi really walked them through each and every step, letting them know when they might want to pause to work a bit more on an instruction. She layered together browns, yellows, and oranges to create a look of real wood. She also showed them how to incorporate Fluorescent Pencils so they could have a black-light effect in their own drawings.

Who will save us?
The second lesson is taught by Pat Knepley, who teaches students how to use chalk pastels while drawing a picture of huge ocean waves crashing against the ship. This is drawn on dark paper and the sky is dotted with stars, some of which are added with fluorescent pastels. When the blacklight is turned on, these reveal the cross of Jesus in the night sky, reminding students that it is Christ Who saves us.

God is My Lighthouse
The third lesson is taught by Jim Pence, using mixed media. My girls were over the moon, getting to pull out the water colors that mom keeps hoping they forget exist. This lesson leads students to our guiding light. With the use of fluorescent pencils, the lighthouse glows under the black light.

I used the lessons with my daughters, for a little extra fun lesson time. They enjoyed it so much that I decided to share it with my Wednesday night church students. I teach elementary students from Kindergarten through 6th grade, and they amazed me with their enthusiasm. It's not easy to find something that grabs the attention of such a varied age-group! Also, the younger students are usually wired and exhausted all at the same time, so it's also not possible to keep them sitting in one place for very long. I was thrilled that this was enjoyed by all and the only bouncing in the room was from students running up to show me how well their pictures were coming along.

During the "Courage" lesson, they were all rather uncertain about the idea of using Yellow? For wood?? I assured them that if they looked at the table, they would notice that real wood has an almost yellow glow hiding in it. One 5 year old whispered in my ear: "Especially when your dog pees on your deck."

I chatted with a mom about the lessons a couple weeks later and she was surprised to hear that her very energetic 6-year old son had done the work himself. She had dismissed the project, thinking it was something he received help with. Not a bit! All of the students were quite proud of the what they accomplished.

The girls produced some beautiful artwork, but it has somehow become lost in the many massive piles of artwork crammed into every corner of this house. The only pieces I could find to share with this review are from lesson 2. The girls also attend my Wednesday night class, so they have 2 copies of this piece:

Each lesson ranges from 19-27 minutes long and they are intended for students ages 6 and up. The story at the beginning is well suited to all ages. The background music is really good. Usually, I don't even notice it's there, as it becomes part of the story. This music plays during the menu selection page of the DVD, waiting for you to choose which lesson you want to watch. It caught my attention (as it kept playing for 10 minutes, waiting for students to arrive) and I looked it up. It is performed by Breathing Room, whom I had never heard of, but of whom I am now a fan.

The plan of salvation is also shared as a 7-minute bonus feature on the DVD, again, pointing students to Christ with every lesson.

In addition to the DVDs, See the Light offers free resources. Check out their Blog for lots of great lessons and video tutorials.

Supply Lists
The supplies are listed in the "More Info" section on their website, which is nice to know ahead of time. They include basic art supplies like pencils, erasers, rulers, etc. They also include fluorescent supplies, such as Crayola Extreme Color Pencils. The more unique items are available in the See the Light Store at a great price. The black light effect is not a necessary component of the art lessons, though it is fabulous. If you opt to use the fluorescent products, I would recommend buying a set for each student so they can continue their artwork without having to stop and wait their turn for a yellow pencil.

I have been very impressed with this See the Light resource. They have many of these Bible Story DVDs to choose from, each costing $14.99. Another resource they offer is a variety of Art Project DVDs. These are similarly priced and teach specific art lessons in the style of various great artists. To see reviews on many of these different products, be sure to check out reviews from the crew in the image link below:

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