Tickles, Furnace and Ruby are three fun-filled characters with plenty to teach about art, its history and its techniques. This app provides many informative videos to watch, activities to experiment with and lessons to put the knowledge into practise in the real world.
It may come with the potential inconvenience of requiring a constant internet connection to be used but this app certainly can’t be accused of not warranting it. It is absolutely crammed to the brim with fully narrated animations bringing the educational content to life in humorous and entertaining ways.
Part of a series of apps dealing with art in all of its aspects, history, inspiration, technique and so on, one of its trademarks is the imaginative and effective ways that it utilises its animation and characters to teach. Early on an example of such a clever idea occurs. It uses a stylised version of Grant Wood’s famous American Gothic painting to show how just the subjects’ eyes can change the whole meaning of the picture and its relationship with the viewer. This occurs in the first section of the app, regarding eyes, but similarly smart ideas permeate the other three sections that deal with movement in art, emphasis and portraits.
Each of these main subjects is substantial in content and length. The animations are categorised in sections called ‘Say Art’, ‘See Art’ and ‘Do Art’. The first section is very much an explanatory selection of videos, introducing the important aspects and artistic techniques related to its topic. The second shows the topic in the context of different artistic styles or within different periods of history. The final section recognises the need for art to be practised and engaged with. Here a selection of related art activities are thoroughly described for children to develop and experiment with what they have learned so far in the app. Children will need access to some basic art supplies as these are not virtual activities but physical ones. This cross over into the physical world may, to some, be stepping away from the convenience and tidiness of using a tablet, but when talking about art this is simply not realistic. Use the right tools for the job. The app is great at teaching, explaining and stimulating interest but to make real art requires artists’ tools.
Really great additions to the lessons in the third section are the parental notes that will help you support and encourage your child through the activity. Teachers too will be able to get inspiration and ideas, or perhaps a whole lesson, from this section. The app certainly has nothing to stop it from being used as a way to help teachers bring their lessons to life in art class – particularly for non-specialist art teachers in primary school. Indeed, as this app is part of a series, that can be purchased as a bundle, it could form part of what is an almost off the shelf set of art lessons.
The app is very demanding of your device and older ones may lag at times, but as an original app, both in terms of its delivery and its subject matter, Envision Art is highly recommended.
From the Developer
"Envision Art" contains the third installment of Creativity Express. Envision Art follows in order: ‘Start With Art’ and ‘Color Smart’. The four lessons of Envision Art use the foundations of the previous apps to explore subtle but sophisticated techniques artists use to convey emotions and communicate through their work.
• Animated art guides – Tickles, Furnace, and Ruby – lead children through four fun and engaging cross-curricular lessons designed to enhance your child’s critical thinking skills and unlock their creativity and problem solving capability.
• 8 'Creativity Builders' art projects give children hands-on experience using knowledge from each lesson. Two projects per lesson, the topics range from learning the secrets of animating artwork to designing a bug-rock band movie poster.
• A ‘Parents’ page detailed guide to each Creativity Builders project including objectives, vocabulary, materials and procedures.
• Idea Gizmo to jump-start your child’s imagination and creative thinking skills.
• Doodle Gizmo -A fun, easy-to-use drawing and painting program for your mobile device.
• Comprehensive Glossary of art terms and definitions
Have your child Envision Art with these lessons:
• Eyes: What can a Cyclops teach you about eyes? Eyes are a the main part of an expression, adding life and feeling to artwork. Explore the many expressions of eyes and how the arch of an eyebrow or a look of surprise can change the entire story of the picture.
• Movement: How can you bring art to life? Use lines of action in your own artwork to show movement. Learn to use dynamic poses to show movement in a still painting as well. Try ‘Moving Through Time’ to see how these same techniques have been used throughout history.
• Emphasis: Tell a story and convey emotions by leading a viewer’s eyes to the right place. Learn to use color, structure, value and contrast to emphasize important parts of artwork. Pinpoint important features of a painting or drawing by using the right emphasis.
• Portrait: Portraits reveal a lot of information about the subject. Become a portrait detective to discover how artists compose portraits using symbolic props to paint a picture of a person's life. Explore the timeline of portraiture and learn why photographs are portraits too.
Recommended for ages 7-97
No in-app purchases
No user ID or data tracking
Meets the National Standards for the Visual Arts.