Art Academy

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Art Academy Game Poster Image
Thorough, fun lessons will genuinely help your art.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can pick up a great deal of in-depth knowledge and expert tips about creating quality artwork. This is not so much a game as it is a virtual art course. Through 10 incredibly detailed lessons (and several mini-lessons in between), kids can learn about sketching and painting techniques such as shading, adding perspective, color mixing, and much more. During lessons, kids are introduced to famous artists and the techniques associated with them. Not really a game, Art Academy feels like what you'd expect from a beginners' course at a real-world art school. 

Positive Messages

The game teaches kids to be artistic and to have faith in their abilities. Once you learn the basic tools and techniques, where you go from there is all up to your imagination.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vince, your virtual art tutor, is not only a knowledgeable teacher, he is also very supportive mentor who speaks as though he believes in your talent and trusts that you'll be able to create beautiful things.

Ease of Play

The abilities to switch tools, mix colors, and so forth are all quite easy to handle. The lessons themselves are quite thorough and every technique is clearly demonstrated. The virtual teacher doesn't dumb himself down, though, which may make true understanding of the lessons a bit tough for younger children.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Art Academy is more than just a video game, it is a fun art tutorial. Following these lessons can genuinely help kids learn about creating art. These are not dumbed-down, oversimplified lessons, though. Everything is thoroughly explained and every technique is demonstrated clearly, but very young kids may find the textual lessons over their heads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlexandria L. May 1, 2011

If you are a die-hard gamer, this is NOT for you!!!

I bought this game recently for a long car trip, and I, as a 14-year-old that it is EPIC (in my own way)!!! I still play on the Metallic Rose-colored Nintendo D... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 and 11-year-old Written bykmillsma April 17, 2011

fabulous for learning to draw and paint

My 10 year old loves playing this game and has picked up many great tips she now uses in her own art.
Kid, 12 years old December 15, 2011

art academy review

very good would definatly buy, excellent has high educational values
Teen, 14 years old Written bydr duck October 31, 2010

A fantastic art instructor WILL help you with art.

I was never a great artist, until I saw this game.

What's it about?

In 10 somewhat lengthy lessons (plus a number of quicker mini-lessons), Art Academy can make you a better artist. Starting with the basics of line drawing and moving on to shading, mixing colors, and everything in between, your virtual tutor, Vince (a Leonardo Da Vinci look-alike), not only tells you how to hone your artistic skills, he also demonstrates, stroke for stroke, how to do everything. Once you've got all the various techniques under your belt, you can create art as you wish -- and then save pictures to your gallery, adorned by the frame of your choice.

Is it any good?

What makes Art Academy such a wonderfully helpful tool is the way it not only tells you what to do, but shows you. After Vince explains how to use intersecting lines to create cross-hatch shading, you get to watch -- in close-up -- exactly how his brush or pencil moves to create those intersecting lines. The game might not be able to make you a great artist, but if you truly pay attention and follow these lessons, you can't help but learn a few things along the way. The tools all work wonderfully, and in very realistic manners. You can choose from multiple different brushes and pencils and even choose to hold a pencil at different angles. The amount of paint coming off a brush will decrease until you "re-dip" and start a new stroke. The DS screen makes for a very tiny canvas, but Art Academy doesn't intend for you to work only in this virtual format -- the game actually tells you to take what you've learned and use it in real life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the value of art. Why do we need art in the world? In what ways does art make the world a better place? Can you imagine a world without art?

  • What kind of things do you like to draw and paint? Ask kids their reasoning behind the pictures they make.

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
    Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination, making new creations
    Self-Direction: effort, self-assessment, self-reflection
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 25, 2010
  • Genre: Art
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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