Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TOS Crew - ARTistic Pursuits

My favorite subject in school was always art and if we could spend all day drawing and painting I'd love that. We haven't had much dedicated art instruction except for a co-op that we were in. My children all enjoy art and often will get out their own supplies and create. I was on the look out for art curriculum that incorporated studying works of art in addition to learning technique. I first saw ARTistic Pursuits last year at a homeschool fair where a Mom had it on display as one of their favorites. When it came up for review I was thrilled!


The boys looked over the choices and wanted to learn more about drawing and so we were happy to be able to review Elementary 4-5 Book One - The Elements of Art and Composition.


How It Worked for Our Family

George, Pete, and Re-Pete (ages 13 and 11) used the art book from ARTistic Pursuits. While it says it is for the elementary level ages 9 and up it still works for the older student like George as the instruction is the same but they work at their own ability level.

This program was easy to open the book and go and they were able to work independently. Although, I do think some direction is needed at times to make sure they are understanding. We needed a few basic supplies to get started such as ebony pencils, a vinyl eraser, metal pencil sharpener, and sketch pad, all of which we already owned. I liked that the supply list was at the beginning of the book and listed by unit.

You can schedule this to fit your own needs and our boys worked on it once or twice a week. The amount of time per lesson varied depending on the child and the difficulty level of what they had selected to draw. But it would be an hour at the most.

I liked how the boys were learning how to do as the book instructs and "observe the world around you -- to really see it." They were able to look around the house and find things of interest to draw. And each person has a different opinion of what would make a good drawing. I would point out an object such as the detail work on a chair and one might agree and the other not.

They finished the first two units: Space, and Line and Shape. This program has helped them to be more deliberate in their drawings. Last year Re-Pete entered a drawing of a car in the fair that was nice but now I think he'll be able to improve with more observation and study of the object and after learning more elements of art.

Here are a few examples of drawing from real life - fitting the object to the space vertical or horizontal.

 photo Re-Pete-Chair-Drawing_zpsbf8a7353.jpg photo iPod-drawing_zpsf1332c39.jpg
 photo Pete-plate-drawing_zps6cb6178c.jpg

What I Like About ARTistic Pursuits

There are four parts to each lesson which is what I love about this program! It isn't only art instruction  or copying a project someone else has done but much more.
  • Building a Visual Vocabulary -- For example the first lesson in Unit 3 is on Texture. The meaning is briefly discussed and then they use that to relate to the real-world. There may also be an activity to help give more thought to that subject such as being blind-folded while feeling different textures offered to them.
  • American Art Appreciation and History -- They observe a work of art that includes elements such as texture and also learn about the artist and the time period they lived in.
  • Techniques -- Learning how to use the tools to help them with their art. For example learning how to move your hand around on the paper rather than being stationary. Or how to draw light outlines and erase as needed.
  • Application -- A final project is done based on what was learned in this unit and at times some review of the terms
What I like is that the child chooses what they want to draw. They aren't just drawing circles and lines that have no relevance except that it was the element they learned about. It isn't a step-by-step drawing book where first they draw this shape then they add this line and so on until it makes the picture of a car or other object. The key is observation and being able to truly study and see the world around us which helps them to draw or give a more detailed description. That is a wonderful thing.


The ARTistic Pursuits softcover 92 page book Elementary 4-5 Book One - The Elements of Art and Composition. is available for $47.95

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


Bethany said...

Great post! I'm following you now from the crew!

Kidcraze said...

Looks like a good program and some nice drawings from your boys.

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