Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey is a full-year program made up of 36 lessons. The lessons cover art elements, principles of design, perception skills, drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber, printmaking and graphic design. More than 140 visual memory exercises are included in the lessons, which are divided into seven units:
  • (1) Line & Shape,
  • (2) Shape & Space,
  • (3) Space & Volume,
  • (4) Color,
  • (5) Color & Texture,
  • (6) Form,
  • and (7) Printing Process and Graphic Design.
The Appendix includes a Student Evaluation, a complete list of supplies, a Brush Chart, a Question-and-Answer section, a Glossary, National Visual Art Standards, and an About the Artist section. All included materials come in a three-ring binder, with unit tests and answer keys at the back of the book, safety taped closed for easy removal. The entire binder totals 167 pages, with 177 black-and-white illustrations and an additional 51 color illustrations.

The Introduction is a “must read.” It gives instructions on how to receive course credit if desired, how to evaluate your work, and how to personalize your program. It also explains how art relates to other academic subjects and how art promotes creative thinking, problem solving, and discernment. Consistent connections are made to Christianity and our individual need to search out the truth in God’s Word.

Each lesson includes a Scripture for the student to copy into his journal, vocabulary words to be looked up in the appendix and included in the journal, and a brief comment on art history with some instruction for research at the local library. Next comes an actual sketchbook assignment and Visual Memory Exercises before moving onto detailed instructions for the more specific assignment of the lesson. Biblical truths to Christianity are included throughout the lessons, including Greek language references and a consistent focus on God as the author of all things beautiful.

The author stresses the importance of performing the lessons in order and the sections within the lessons in order and we found this very well planned. The author also requests that you read each Lesson completely before actually beginning the work, which we found to be helpful. We chose to spread each lesson over a full week. We chose to do this at the start of the week before moving on to our usual library day on Wednesday. By reading the entire lesson beforehand, we could determine how much work we would complete at the library–sometimes just the art history research but sometimes the sketchbook and Visual Memory exercises as well. We closed the week by completing the actual Activity portion of the lesson, usually reserving Thursday and Friday for this work before reviewing everything on Saturday.

My daughter’s enjoyment of this program was rivaled only by my own enthusiasm. The smooth transitions from one activity to the next and the progressive manner of learning were evidences of a well-planned curriculum. We could not have asked for more ties to Christianity and references to the Creator. These references were not overbearing but were seamlessly made and, in my opinion, Spirit-led. We definitely found this to be a wonderful program.

Some families may find the additional expense for supplies to be a deterrent. Art is simply not an inexpensive endeavor, particularly at the high school level. However, I hope families will consider the supplies essential to the learning program, as they should be, and purchase them as required. The expenses are actually very reasonable for the broad range of art education within the Survey.

Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey is a fantastic program, particularly because it does have a Christian worldview and stresses the value of art in the eyes of our Creator. Our family found it immensely enjoyable, and I hope to obtain the versions for our younger students as well. The author permits photocopying within your school, so this product can be used over the years for several students, which increases its value. Students will enjoy looking through their portfolio and seeing the progress they made over time. The world today needs Godly artists who are working from a Christian worldview and producing quality images and tasteful presentations. Our family will follow the lead of the Spears Art Studio and encourage our children to pursue art from a fully Christian perspective.

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