Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Artistic Pursuits-Review

Artistic Pursuits is a non-consumable art curriculum written for homeschoolers. It is available in 10 levels: Preschool, 3 books for K-3, 2 books for grades 4-6, 2 books for junior high and 2 for senior high.  We received Grades 4-6 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition. It is a comb-bound, soft cover textbook with 88 pages.

What I really love about this course is that it is not just a drawing course.  It is art instruction and also features the art of American artists. I also like that it didn't require a lot of expensive supplies.  I purchased what we needed at a craft store. I did end up going twice because I originally just bought drawing pencils because I didn't know what Ebony pencils were (and couldn't find anyone to help me in the store).  I looked them up online the next time and found them without a problem because I knew what I was looking for. (See below for information about ordering an art supply pack that goes along with each book.)

One other great feature is that it is non-consumable which is wonderful for a large family like ours!

Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition covers:
  • Space
  • Line and Shape
  • Texture
  • Value
  • Form
  • Form using Value
  • Local Value
  • Contrast
  • The Shapes of Natural Forms
  • Edges
  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Overlap
  • Depth
  • Proportion, the Face
  • Movement
The following media is introduced through this year long course:
  • Ebony pencil
  • white pencil
  • black markers with point and wide tip
  • scratch paper
  • silhouette

This book is written for the student and ideally they can work on this by themselves. (I find that for most things I like to work with my students at this age.) It is designed for 2 lessons per week. Unfortunately, this book didn't click with Ryan (my 6th grader).  We worked on some of the lessons but he really didn't enjoy it. I am hoping that over time that will change because I think it is an excellent curriculum. This is no fault of the curriculum though. He just doesn't want to learn to draw right now.

Although my daughter Emma is only in the third grade she is very interested in using this so I am going to slowly work through it with her.  I also have a very artistic senior and though she is well outside the age range of this book I think it will be of great benefit to her.  Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition is really packed with art history but more importantly, valuable instruction specifically in how to see things like an artist does.

Here is one of Ryan's drawings of our piano:

You can see sample pages by clicking on the pictures on this page. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the inside of the book in case you don't feel like clicking over.

Each level of Artistic Pursuits is available for purchase at $42.95.  They also offer links convenient art supply packs that can be purchased through Dick Blick in order to save you from going to a store to purchase individual supplies.

You can read what others on the TOS crew are saying about Artistic Pursuits on the crew blog.

disclaimer: I received a copy of Artistic Pursuits in exchange for an honest review.

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