What We Teach


Q. What makes Creating A Masterpiece so exciting and rewarding for those who use it?
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When Sharon Hofer designed Creating a Masterpiece she wanted to extend the reach of her fine art school. She wanted a program that would not only teach technique but would also to equip each student to produce excellent results. It was imperative that the program be designed so that each student could move on and do their own individual project. With over fifteen years teaching experience Sharon achieved her goal. As you make your way through the lessons you will feel as if you are sitting in Sharon's studio being taught by her personally.

Her belief is that the teaching must be simple enough for a child to follow. Sharon teaches step by step so that anyone can follow along at each stage of the project.

The quality of each project must be masterpiece level work. Sharon works hard to ensure that her students produce projects they will be proud of. As Sharon says “I want to encourage them to take pride in their work and help them feel like a real artist, instead of doing simplistic crafts. She will encourage them in the fine arts instead of producing refrigerator art that is a part of many art curriculums.

Each project should inspire confidence! When a student finishes a project they didn't think they could do, and realizes that not only did they do it, but it is a masterpiece as well, their confidence grows! As student's progress through the program they will learn that they can become masters in many different media. They will realize that they can do anything they put their mind to.

A note from the artist, Sharon Hofer:

We are excited to say that Creating a Masterpiece is working just as we had hoped when we started the company. The projects the students are doing on their own are amazing! By working their way through the lessons they have learned how to use the media and the principals taught and now they create their very own pieces.

Q. What is the uniqueness of Creating a Masterpiece?
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You will find that this program has a high emphasis on quality. Sharon wants each student to excel in the fine arts rather than crafts because they will grow in their confidence as an artist twice as fast. Just by looking at the projects produced by the students you will be amazed at what they can do. As you will see, children as young as 4 – 5 can make masterpieces using media usually reserved for the high school student and beyond.

Sharon has a passionate commitment to ensure that most every student, regardless of age or artistic ability, has the opportunity to create beautiful artwork. Across our country there are lessons available for the adult student but very few have been created that are designed especially to teach young children and teens.

Another aspect that makes the Creating a Masterpiece art program unique is the very low cost in taking fine art lessons. Rather than paying $500 or more per student for yearly art lessons, by using this program you have the opportunity to buy a subscription that enables your entire family to use all the lessons available on the site. Each individual student can work at their own speed and choose projects that they are most interested in. During the year additional media and lessons will continue to be added.

The fourth aspect that makes the Creating a Masterpiece art program unique is the opportunity to learn many different art mediums. Most artist teach one or two media that they excel in. This means that the student will need to find a new teacher every time they want to learn a new media. Your teacher, Sharon Hofer, has learned, mastered, and taught almost all forms of art media. Because of this extensive background she currently offers 15 different forms of art media with plans to introduce even more. She will introduce you to different media, teach you how to use the media, and increase the difficulty as you advance through the levels.

A note from the artist, Sharon Hofer:

Too often many art programs expect too little from the students. I believe that the students will rise up to the challenge if the teacher expects the most from them. At Creating a Masterpiece we are confident that every student regardless of their age or artistic ability will be able to produce beautiful artwork as they work slowly and methodically through the program.

Q. What media will we learn through Creating a Masterpiece?
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What would be more exciting than producing something of value and worth that your peers have never attempted? Sharon believes that everyone can do anything if they just go step by step through the process. The more media they become proficient at, the more challenges they will be willing to attempt. Sharon is adding new projects and media constantly.

Here is a list of the current media Sharon teaches:

  • Acrylic Painting
  • Soft Pastels
  • Oil Pastels
  • Sculpture
  • Watercolor
  • Block Printing
  • Ink
  • Silk Dyeing
  • Pencil
  • Bombay Ink
  • Conte Crayon
  • Portraiture
  • Colored Pencil
  • Copper Tooling
  • Charcoal
  • Glass Mosaic
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Gouache
  • Balsa Carving
Q. What are the typical results when using Creating a Masterpiece?
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The results consistently amaze parents and friends. Take a few minutes and read the reviews and testimonials on this site from families who use this program.

Q. How old should a student by when starting the Creating a Masterpiece curriculum?
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Level 1 projects are taught with the goal that children as young as four to five years old can succeed depending on their maturity level. We constantly receive pictures from that age group who are proudly displaying their masterpieces. With Sharon as your guide, don't be afraid of creating a masterpiece of your very own. Just remind students of all ages to work through the lessons carefully and slowly. Rushing through the program will not bring the desired success you hope for. However, if you carefully work through the projects you will not be disappointed!

Q. Where do I begin?
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It depends on what you want to gain from Creating a Masterpiece. The Beginners Level is unique from the rest of the levels. It is meant to be fun and simple. Each project contains a single lesson divided into multiple small sections. It usually only takes about an hour to complete a project. Level 1 through Level 5 are full fine art projects. Each project in these levels contains 3-7 full lessons that are divided into smaller sections. Each of these lessons usually takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete.

Normally students begin with a level one project as it was designed to virtually ensure success. We want you to know the basics before moving onto a more complicated project. If you skip a level you might not be ready for the challenges ahead. In order for you to have complete success, please consider this program just like you would expensive private art lessons. Your teacher would only allow you to go on to the next step if the last step was done well. The “Sunflower” project in level one is actually the most challenging of that level so you might want to wait with that lesson until the end of level 1. Some have voiced that it is also one of the most rewarding lessons in level 1.

If you have some background in fine art, or if you are an older student, you can pick and choose from any of the projects while remembering that every level gets a bit harder. You simply need to go slowly and focus on learning and mastering the techniques.

Q. How long does it take to complete a project?
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This answer entirely depends on how you use the program. If you start with the Beginners Level each project usually takes an hour. They are single lesson projects. Beginning in Level 1, any given project is divided into 3-7 lessons. Each lesson is then broken down into 1-4 sessions that take 1-2 hours to complete. If a student does one lesson a week it will take 3-7 weeks to finish a given project. However, students are able to work at their own pace. They are capable of finishing a project much faster, but if the quality of the project suffers then it would be better to slow down and have a masterpiece at the end. This will encourage the student and they will not feel like they have failed. This is very important and cannot be stressed enough. When time and care are sacrificed for speed the potential for a masterpiece is also thwarted. Patience and quality go hand in hand when creating the artwork you are desire and long for.

Q. How much of a project should I do at one sitting?
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Sharon recommends that students accomplish one lesson per week. Keep in mind that each lesson is divided into several sections. A careful student will usually take an hour or more to finish one lesson.

A note from the artist, Sharon Hofer:

In your excitement to finish a project, you won't realize when that eagerness turns into sloppiness. This happens all the time as new students come into my studio. Before too many weeks go by, they realize that they need to slow down. As they watch the other students take their time and have a masterpiece to show for it, they learn that the first person done is not usually the winner. Also, as you become tired you can tend to get careless and will skip through the lesson fast. The little details that you miss will make a huge impact in the finished project. An important part of being a good artist is knowing when to take a break and when to return. An artist should feel refreshed and ready to create. So even if you only finish a small section in a lesson at one sitting - that's perfectly fine! Your project will probably turn out much better because of your careful effort.

Q. How and where do I get supplies?
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This is one of the wonderful parts of this program! Ordering supplies cannot be made more simply as Sharon has partnered with Blick Art Supply and they stock all of the materials needed for each project. Each supply list is already in a cart for you at BlickU. You will find that Blick Art Supply is a very reasonable priced source for high quality art supplies. (They have good sales as well.)

You will find the link for the list of each individual project located below the video feed of each project. A chart will also guide you in the amount of supplies needed when you have more than 2 students doing the project at one time. One benefit of using BlickU to order is the ability to order individual and color specific supplies. You won't have to buy entire sets, but only what you need for that particular project.

If you prefer to pick up your own supplies at your local art store you absolutely can. You might have to substitute like items, but it can be done. We would only caution you to get good art supplies. They will last a lot longer and give you professional result. If you use cheep supplies your finished project will also lack in depth of color and brilliance.

A note from the artist, Sharon Hofer:

I want to advise you to use good art supplies as they will make all the difference in the outcome of your project. Most art programs give children the cheapest supplies possible and they get second rate results. I call this refrigerator art and you will probably end up throwing the artwork away. Low end art supplies will end up discouraging the student rather than inspire him.

For instance, if you take piano lessons on an out of tune piano, you will get frustrated. Consciously you might not even know it is out of tune, but you know something is wrong. The same is for producing artwork. Low priced supplies will not develop the confidence and satisfaction that you are wanting. You will feel disappointed... and you will think something is wrong with you. And that is not the case at all. The problem is in the supplies and no matter how hard you try, the outcome will not be strong. Poor quality supplies have very little pigment and are made mostly of filler. Keep in mind that they won't last as long and the results will be inferior.

Q. How much do supplies cost?
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The cost of art supplies varies greatly based on the quality of the supplies. Sharon's rule of thumb is that “the cheaper the supplies, the cheaper looking the project will turn out to be.” Since we want to inspire confidence in our students, we need to keep this in mind.

Sharon chooses quality supplies for her students when they make a difference in the outcome of the masterpiece at the BlickU website. The cost of supplies to complete a project will vary from $11 to $46 depending on the media. Keep in mind that when you buy supplies, you will have many left over for creating your own project. Also, many students can use those same supplies at the same time.

Sharon seeks to reuse as many of the same supplies as she can when working with the same media in another project, so that the cost remains as low as possible. The goal of this program is to produce high quality fine art in many different media, in order to grow confident young artists. 

A note from the artist, Sharon Hofer:

In order to understand the low cost of the supplies, you should divide the expenses among the total students and/or projects and you will see how little it really costs for the supplies. I have put together a list of supplies that I believe you will be happy with. Remember, that most of the art supplies are good for many projects and for many students. Most of you will have so many supplies left, that when you do your next project in that media, you won't have to rebuy the supplies a second time.

Q. Is there a recommended place to do these projects?
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Make a place in your home where you would be ok if some paint needed to be cleaned up. Sharon would encourage you to use common sense and not oil paint on the new carpet. It often works well to have a drop cloth placed beneath the work area. Most projects should be put away after every session of work. In her art studio the students put away their projects until they return the following week. Make a habit of cleaning up after working on the project. This is a good life lesson that each one of us will benefit from learning.

Q. Can my children of different ages do these projects together at the same time?
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Yes, this is exciting as all the students can do the projects together at the same time! Many families across the nation use this program for family time. The four year old does the project alongside the fifteen year old. The parents and even the grandparents enjoy doing the projects together with the children and grandchildren.

If you have a child who would like to spend more time working through a project, then have them work at different times. Usually though, most families enjoy doing the projects together as a group.

Q. Does my project need to look like Sharon's example, or can I use my creative abilities to change it?
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Every student is going to have their own interpretation of the project. That is what makes art so special! Younger children are going to have more simplistic forms of each project and the older students might want to make it look exactly like Sharon's or maybe change it in some way. However, Sharon would encourage each student, young and old to make the project their own! They can add to the project, or take away or use different colors. It is exciting and wonderful to see what the students come up with. At the very least, Sharon encourages the students to make a project of their very own after completing the project that Sharon is teaching them from.

Remember to encourage the students to slow down and do their best. Having the students study the photo of the completed project will be a great help to them. Just remember to encourage the students that it is not only "fine" to have their masterpiece look different from the original, but it is often "preferred."

Q. If I have a question, can I contact the Creating a Masterpiece art program directors via email or Facebook?

Sharon loves to interact with her students. If they send her a quality picture of their project, or if they ask for tips on improvement, she enjoys interacting with them. The best way of getting in touch with Sharon is to email her. To email her click here.

Q. Does Sharon really host monthly art challenges?
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Sharon is an encourager and motivator. In order to do this she hosts monthly art challenges from August to March. The rules of participation are posted on Facebook during the first three days of the month. The winners receive prizes as well. To enter your project in the monthly challenge click here.

Q. Is there a time we can meet Sharon in person?
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Yes there is! Sharon attends multiple conventions a year as a vendor and speaker. If you would like to meet her please come to the Creating A Masterpiece booth.

As some conventions are on the same weekend there is a chance she won't be present at the one you take part in. If you want to know if Sharon will be at a specific convention just email us and ask. You can get in touch with us by clicking here.

Q. Can Creating a Masterpiece be used in group settings?
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Creating a Masterpiece may be used in group settings only if a group subscription is purchased. To learn more click here.

Creating A Masterpiece is intended for single family, home use. Any other unauthorized use is a violation of the copyright. This includes the sharing of personal login information with other families and the loaning of DVD's.

If you have a Creating A Masterpiece DVD and would like to use the DVD in a group setting you may contact us.

Creating A Masterpiece DVD's are not permitted to be purchased by, cataloged in, donated to, or loaned out at libraries. This includes public, private, and school libraries. To use the program in a library for a special class you may contact us.

Q. Do I need an easel?
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Please do not invest in an easel right away. You can do the projects on your kitchen table or even put newspaper on the floor. As you progress through the program you might ask for an easel for Christmas or your birthday.

Q. I would like to purchase this program but it is just too expensive for me right now?
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Think about it this way... You will have all your Christmas and Birthday gifts already bought for the coming year by giving the masterpieces you create as gifts to family and friends! And at the same time you are learning and creating. Because they truly are masterpieces your friends and family would love to have a piece of that beauty in their home. Also, Sharon would encourage you to start your own business using the media you have been taught. Many of Sharon's students make money in this way.

Q. Do I as a parent need to help my child, or can they do it on their very own?
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This all depends on the age of your children and their maturity level. The younger the child the more they will need one of their parents there to help them “slow down” and remember the instructions. Only you know your child and if they will rush through the project. You are there to slow them down and guide them. If you can trust your child in this way then you do not need to be involved at all.

 


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