Friday, August 16, 2013

Monart: Learning to Draw by Breaking it Down

**Disclosure: We did receive two complimentary classes for the purpose of conducting an accurate review. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.

I enjoy drawing but am not at all confident in my "creations." My daughter, a typical eight-year-old, is always wanting the cart before the horse and can easily be upset if she does not draw something to her concept of perfection. Recently, we visited Monart for two classes and were delighted with what we discovered.

Monart uses five elements to help students learn to draw. By using the five elements, Monart teachers are able to teach students how to break down art into manageable sections for drawing. Through breaking each object into elements, drawing an object becomes less intimidating. What a way to open yourself up to the world of drawing!

When we entered the studio, I was immediately impressed. Soothing music played while students worked on a few warm up exercises. The classroom was quiet with a supportive, positive vibe. My daughter and I sat down an began our warm up exercises. The exercises helped us begin working on sketches that would be part of our project. However, these sketches were presented in a manageable manner, not at all overwhelming.




Each class is based on a certain theme. The first week we attended, students worked on a drawing inspired by Matisse's painting of a fish bowl. Wow! Drawing Matisse! I was excited to see this in action!

The instructor at Monart was able to breakdown Matisse's artwork into small pieces for us to work on. She used the five simple elements to help us draw. She began by drawing on the board to give us guidance and then we each worked on that section of our masterpiece. The teacher was very encouraging and reminded us that if a particular section of the drawing came out a little different than what was on the board, that is ok. She also gave us ideas to make the drawing unique to us using the elements we were learning. I was amazed to glance around and see how everyone's came out unique yet you could tell that everyone was inspired by Matisse.

Here is a look at Matisse's piece:


While we were using a Matisse painting as our model, we had ample opportunity to make our art truly ours. Alyce, our lovely instructor, pointed out times when we could create our own leaves or flowers. She was supportive the entire time!

My daughter and I found the method to be amazing. To be able to draw something that actually looked like art during our first class--wonderful! The method itself provided a calm approach to drawing. Very soothing! Plus, learning about an artist and being able to actually create something inspired by him.

Look at my masterpiece:



My daughter's words in regards to Monart: "It helped me with my drawing. I like how she taught me to use the curved lines and dots and stuff. It made drawing easier."

During the second session, my daughter drew a picture of two cats while I took some photos to show you how a class works. The whole process is so tranquil, you really can get your creative juices flowing. This time we met another instructor, Judy. Judy was so supportive of all of the budding artists. She encouraged variation in the drawings and encouraged all of the wonderful creators!

Here is where we started:


Judy in action showing us how to draw an element:


Judy showing us an element before drawing it:



Here is where we ended up:


The class ended with some time to color in the new masterpieces. Classical music in the background helped the students with their creativity.

The Monart experience is an effective yet relaxing way to learn how to draw. There are class offerings for kids and adults. The whole process is a great way to center yourself and to tap into a new part of you. When you are in class, you will really feel focused on your piece. What a stress release!

Monart has a host of ongoing classes. You can check the class schedule for current offerings. Plus, Monart has special camps during the summer and will have camps during the winter. Monart has a presence at many local festivals, so be sure to stop by and say hi! In fact, they will be attending A Walk in a Park Summer Art Fair in Arlington Heights on Sunday!

Monart has the motto: "There are no mistakes in art-every picture is a stepping stone." We could really see how Monart lives up to this philosophy!

Monart is located at 628 South Arthur Ave. in Arlington Heights. You can contact Monart at 847-788-9323 or by email at monart31@aol.com.


**If you stop by Monart, be sure to tell them that you read our post!

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