Out of this world art instruction – FOR FREE!

Beacon_Secret City BannerYour young artists will LOVE exploring Secret City

Growing up in the 70s and 80s kids were not exactly spoiled for choice when it came to TV programming. Fortunately, that scarcity also led to some quirky but quality television. Eclectic programs that redefined funucational.

As a randomly creative kid who happened to be a little bit left AND right brained, I was always on the hunt for something interesting and artistic to try. That’s probably why I loved the PBS show “Secret City.”

This drawing program, hosted by Mark Kistler, focused on teaching basic DIY art techniques simply and effectively. Yes, it was every bit as quirky as many PBS kids shows from that era (Cindy’s random fuzzy green monster arms, for instance) but that only adds to its charm.

Like the grown ups watching the afrotastic Bob Ross kids watching Secret City could learn how to draw interesting pictures in a single episode. During the episodes Kistler also offered advice on how to experiment and practice with the drawing techniques on your own.

The shows are definitely dated, but because your kids likely haven’t seen anything like it before, they may find it even more appealing.

Here are a few episodes to get your budding artists started

This longer video compiles several episodes teaching various art terms and techniques to help kids “conquer that blank paper.” 

This one teaches texture using a wishing well

This one is a simple hanging plant that teaches all sorts of interesting techniques.

Stacking cylinders and foreshortened circles.

Symmetry, proportion and city drawing

For even more from Mark, check out his YouTube page here. 

And if you, like me, are a book person, here’s a terrific book by Kistler that offers almost limitless opportunities to engage your artist’s imagination and get them thinking, creating and drawing.




I'm a storyteller. Fortunately, that is also what I get paid to do. Born on a boat and bred on the back of a horse I tend to see the world a bit differently ... and I sway when I walk.

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