Hello crafty friends! A few weeks ago, I joined a new online coloring class called “Elements of Nature”. It was released by my favorite tutorial site Kit and Clowder and this new class has surpassed my expectations by far. I know that many of you have started classes at Kit and Clowder, and that some of you might be hesitating because of the price of the class, so I wanted to review it for you today so you get a better feel of what to expect. Also, I have a coupon for you to get a rebate on almost all of the classes at Kit & Clowder!
Disclaimer: I was about to purchase the class when Alyce contacted me and offered it to me for free so I could review it. I gladly accepted, but considering the content of the class, I would have purchased it no matter what anyway.
By the numbers
First of all, here’s a run-down of what you get in the class:
- 33 video tutorials with over 26 hours of viewing time
- 28 different digital images (from flowers, to trees, to fruit, to scenes) all included, no extra cost!
- Class images prepared in a booklet ready for you to print, or you can download the images separately and print them yourself
- Printable booklet/ebook with step-by-step instructions (158 pages)
- Color combinations for Copics and other alcohol markers (like SN) and color combos for pencils like Polychromos, Prismacolor etc. for each image in class
- You get a basic introduction to blending theory for pencils and alcohol markers, as well as color theory
- One-on-one feedback when you upload your images so you know what to improve
- Lifetime access to the class – you can start anytime and get feedback anytime
What are the videos like?
I always love Alyce’s videos because they are so in-depth. You see every stroke, and Alyce explains everything she does, so you really just need to watch and then follow along. The videos are real-time, so nothing is sped up and you can comfortably watch them and soak up all the finer points of coloring.
The videos are available via a private Vimeo channel – you don’t need to subscribe to anything, you just follow the link that Alyce provides and watch the video. You can also download the video and put it on your computer or mobile device if you like that better (I always put them on my iPad so I can watch them on my desk while following along).
What do I get in the booklets?
The main booklet has all the instructions from the videos, but in printed form. There are photos of each coloring stage with clear instructions on how to get there. It also lists all the color combinations for each image, for different brands of alcohol markers as well as pencils. It’s best to use in conjunction with the videos, especially if you want to see each coloring stage clearly.
The second “booklet” really is just a few pages with all the images from the class prepared for you. All you need to do is print them on your favorite paper and start coloring. You can download the images individually and print them by themselves if you prefer, though.
Do I have to own all the colors listed?
Nope. I don’t. Most people won’t. What you can do instead is use color combos you have. So, for example, if you don’t have a good yellow-brown combination but a great red one, use that instead. It’s about learning the technique, not the exact color combo. As a tip: I purchased (for just a few bucks) the amazing Copic Hex Chart by Sandy Allnock. It’s a fantastic reference to find colors which will work great together or which are similar, much better than the standard Copic chart.
What images are being colored?
Here’s a non-exhaustive list (would be too long otherwise): Daffodils, Lilies, Gerberas, Hydrangeas, Tulips, Roses, Dew Drops, Logs, Maple Leaves, Trees, Apples, Berries, Lemons, Night Scene, Sunset Scene and many more.
And remember: the techniques you learn here are applicable to your own images as well! You don’t even have to use the class images. If you have an image that you prefer, just use that one and Alyce will give you feedback when you upload it.
Is it worth it?
Oh, YES! First of all, please remember that the prices on Alyce’s website are in Australian Dollars, so chances are, your currency will be better off (sorry, Alyce 😉 ) and it will be cheaper than the number you see there.
Second, consider what you are getting:
- Hours and hours of in-depth video tutorials which allow you to learn at your own speed.
- Detailed printable documentation allowing you to read up on all the techniques.
- Color combinations for sure-success coloring, and for several different alcohol marker and pencil types!
- All images needed to practice, no need to purchase them extra in order to follow the class!
- Detailed feedback on your uploaded images, just like in a real class room, so you know where you need to improve.
Alyce spent over four months putting this class together, so we should not forget that this is real work, real effort, and real skill that is required to do that. I personally feel that you get an amazing bang for your buck! I love coloring nature images, but have shied away from a lot of them because I simply didn’t know what to do. Yes, of course you can do basic shading, but that’s not all that exciting sometimes. Now you’ll learn how to add texture with a few simple tricks and it will take your coloring to the next level.
If you are just someone who colors casually and is happy with what you can accomplish, the class might not be for you. And that’s ok – you should really only take it if you want to challenge yourself to do something different, something that is a little more than the usual. If you have ever looked at my images, or at Alyce’s images and went “Oh wow! I wish I could do that!” Well, you can! Take the class – that’s where all of my skills come from 🙂
To prove my point
Just in case you think I’m making all of this up and I’m just gushing for the sake of it, here’s proof: The following image was colored by me a few months ago. I tried to add a bit of texture to the flowers, as you can see. This was the only way I was I knew to do it:
By contrast, here’s the same image colored in different styles I learned in class. I know that this might not correspond how the flower looks like in real life, but I want to show you that you can use the techniques you learn across the board, and not just for a particular image:
Time-Limited Coupon for Kit & Clowder
Alyce has kindly offered a fantastic coupon to all of you! Use “nature10” (without the quotation marks) to get 10% off all classes (except for Create & Learn) on Kit and Clowder! The coupon is valid from 14-21 April 2016. If you’ve ever held off getting one of the great classes, now is the time to sign up!
Hope you found this review useful and will make use of the coupon! Let me know if you have any questions!