Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Artistic Pursuits

It has been a few days since I have been on here and now it is time for me to update once again on another interesting product our family was privileged to review.
On the left hand side of this page is the cover for the Art Book that I chose to review as it was simple and looked easy to accomplish for this non-artistic Mum and student. I guess I was right.
Inside these pages is a very detailed look at paintings done through the years, sketches, crafts, and a bunch of questions for each chapter. I would say this Art curriculum was for a student was really interested in using art deeply in their homeschool education or as a side interest outside of a regular school. I know that art is not focused on too much any longer in public school in the United States.
I only managed to get through 3-4 chapters of this book with my son as his face droops as soon as he sees a painting or a sketch book in my hands to share with him.
This Book One is an Introduction to the Visual Arts for Grades K-3. It is an introduction to all kinds of art including painting, sketches using different pencils, markers and watercolor crayons. The second kind of art I noticed in this book was learning how to use the paint brushes on top of the crayons you have already colored with. The third angle I was interested in was the basic pottery or art of how to use clay and paint it. This is a wonderful resource for the child who loves to mold and shape things with their hands in that respect, or to blend a bunch of colors together with watercolor crayons and then blend them even more with the water paints.
The basic materials required for this first book are Ebony pencils, watercolor crayons, pastel sticks, clay and construction paper. We elected not to purchase any extra supplies and just use what we had at the time.
Whilst we were doing our sketches with pencils and then crayons I would ask my son questions about the paintings that we had just viewed in the book, as well as about interests of his own. It gave us a chance to get to know each other just a little more whilst doing the exercises and learning a little art history in the process. I did notice that my son was challenged to 'think outside of his box' as it were, when he had to draw himself, or other members of his family as he is not used to doing that.
There are 3 books in this series for Grades K-3rd grade. They are as follows:
Book 1, An Introduction to the Visual Arts (Ancient - 1300's)
Book 2, Stories of Artists and Their Art (1200's - 1800's)
Book 3, Modern Painting and Sculpture (1850's - today )
The cost for each of these books is $42.95. The books are written basically to the student and involves no teacher preparation at all, other than providing the materials needed for each project or craft. The website http:// does have supply lists to recommend what materials are needed for each book, and they are available for sale there too. We could not afford at this current time to purchase everything required so we did the lessons that we had supplies on hand for.
There are Grade 4-12 Books as follows:
Book 1 at each grade level covers Drawing Basics
Book 2 at each grade level covers Color Theory.
I did break the lessons up into one per week as they are different from what we are used to. If you had an artist on your hands then they would be able to do more than that as the book is easy to follow with it's self guiding instructions as mentioned earlier.
At this current time I will not be ordering any of this curriculum due to us already being in the middle of one we begun last year and are working slowly through. For some other opinions on the different levels of Artistic Pursuits curriculum please click this link to read them:
You may of course go straight to and read the many articles, reviews, and parents comments right there.
I have been sent this product from Artistic Pursuits to review and write my opinion for the TOS Homeschool Crew for 2009/10. I have not been paid for this review.

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