Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crayola Art Studio by Core Learning

Fun with crayons, markers, and paint is no longer confined to a physical piece of paper or canvas. Crayola has developed Art Studio, a powerful piece of software that enables kids of all ages (and even adults!) to experiment and create all sorts of digital artwork with all sorts of tools.

An animated Quick Start Tour will get you going in less than ten minutes with a nice overview of Art Studio's key features. You'll start off learning how to customize your work area, and then it's on to a thorough explanation of the toolbar. There are 12 different Crayola digital art supplies you can choose from including marker, paint, colored pencil, spray paint, crayon, charcoal, and oil pastel. A really cool feature of the art tools is that they respond on the digital canvas like they would in real life. So, for example, you'll see that paint bleeds a bit and blends with other colors as they 'mix' on the work area. You can choose to draw freehand or use shape tools to create lines, circles, or polygons. You are able to change color, mix color on a palette to make your own, or use a color chooser for even more color options. You can even change the hue, shade, or transparency of color. Crayola has included a large stamp library with a collection of hundreds of images to add to your artwork. Images can be resized and altered in appearance. There is a nifty cut picture feature where you can cut out a silhouette of an object and a fill tool to color in closed space with either solid color or patterned motifs. Fortunately there is an undo tool and a redo tool to fix mistakes and a clear picture option to clear the canvas totally and start all over again. Digital creations have the option of being saved in numerous formats, including JPeg, GIF, and Windows Bitmap among others. A 47-page User Manual and a 31-page Activity Guide are also provided in PDF format. The User Manual reveals even more features than the Quick Start Tour, and the Activity Guide gives a great introduction to using the software to practice art techniques such as proportion, using color, perspective, and drawing the human figure and face.

My final verdict: It is amazing just how powerful a piece of software this is! Drawing with digital crayons may seem like child's play, and believe me my 5-year-old loves it, but with the tools that are provided it is possible to create complex and sophisticated pieces of art! I like to tweak around with Illustrator and Photoshop, but those would be extremely intimidating, too complicated, and ultimately frustrating for my young daughter to try to handle. Art Studio is wonderful because it has the ability to work for both the younger and older child, the art beginner and the more advanced. My husband and I both enjoyed using the software to make some interesting creations. I would highly, highly recommend Crayola Art Studio! The price is right--just $24.95--available at Core Learning as a Windows download or a physical product shipped to you. Check out the entire Quick Start Tour and then download a Demo!

1 comment:

_ said...

i am so happy to hear about this one. I NEED something for computer skills for both the big uns and I was dying to hear about this product. I am going to have to consider gettin it. :)