Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ARTistic Pursuits (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Art is a huge hit in this house.  Dad is very talented in the art department, even having had a piece that he created in high school being displayed in a local museum in his home town.  I was fairly artistic in my own right.  My oldest daughter also loves to draw and create her own characters and artistic pieces. So it was no surprise that Ashleigh would also display some talent as well.  

As a homeschool parent, I enjoy being able to not only encourage but also nurture and help develop her natural talents as much as possible.  When we were given the opportunity to review the latest release from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. to use with Ashleigh, there wasn't any hesitation.  This was a company that we were already very familiar with so we were very excited to review Art of the Ancients, which is Volume Two of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series. 

Designed and written by homeschooling mom Brenda Ellis, ARTistic Pursuits uses the theory that all children can learn artistic concepts and put them to use on paper.  Starting with the most basic of these concepts in early instructional books, students progress each year until they are studying these concepts on a much deeper level of technique and application.  Students are introduced early on to various mediums such as pastels, modeling clay, watercolor crayons, and paints while they learn tips and techniques that will carry them through a lifetime of artistic pursuits. 

Art of the Ancients is book 2 in the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series.  These are newly released hardback books, written by Brenda Ellis,  that are written for grades K-3. Each of  64 page books in the six book series (a seventh book is currently in the works) features 18 lessons, 12 of which are written in text format in the book and 6 of which are found the accompanying DVD/Blu-Ray disks (both disks are found in the front of the book, giving you the option of which format you want to use). 

Video lessons are hosted by Ariel Holcomb.  Holecomb introduced the lesson topics to build interest in the lesson while Brenda Ellis teaches the student how to handle art media as well as introduce techniques that work well for young children. 

How We Used It

For our review, we chose to start with Book 2 of the new series, which focuses on the artwork of the cultures that developed along the Mediterranean sea and it's surrounding areas.  From European Cave Drawings to the Grecian Pillars to learning about artwork in tombs with the Etruscan Wall Paintings, the 18 lessons provide a wide variety of both art history as well as an introduction to various art mediums for students to learn about.    A Table of Contents as well as a Materials list is provided in the front of the book to make planning easier. 

While this particular series is aimed for students grades K-3 and Ashleigh is technically 4th grade, the lessons were still very useful for Ashleigh.  The lessons are very short - less than 10 minutes each for the video lessons and 1 to 3 pages for the book lessons. 

For our review, we decided to start with Lesson 1, which was a video lesson that demonstrated using soft pastels.  We worked on one art lesson per week, although, had Ashleigh been left to her own, she would have completed the book within a day or two.

Ashleigh watching Lesson 1 
For this lesson, students are asked to use pastels to create a picture of an object with wheels, whether from a picture of a toy.  Ashleigh decided to attempt a picture of her RC toy Challenger. 

With Lesson 2, Ashleigh learned about Art in Caves and the Lascaux Cave in France. 

After reading the lesson and doing a bit of our own research on the caves via YouTube, Ashleigh then worked on her own version of cave drawings using soft pastels.  

For Lessons 3 and 4, Ashleigh began working with self hardening clay.  Lesson 3 was another video lesson covering how to make figures from clay slabs while Lesson 4 taught about the human statues found by archaeologists while excavating Jericho.

 She was then asked to create her own clay figure.  She claims this was her statue of me LOL

For our last lesson for this review period, we revisited the Minoan Fresco paintings.  We had previously learned about the Minoan palace of Knossos and the frescos that are still visible there.  She was really thrilled when the lesson featured the fresco of Bull Jumping that had been found in Knossos.

Since the lesson focused on the Bull Jumping fresco, the lesson's assignment was for Ashleigh to draw a realistic animal using soft pastels.   Are you seeing a theme with her choice in subject?  She loves her rats.

We have really enjoyed working with the lessons in this book each week and it has quickly become one of Ashleigh's favorite subjects each week.  We will continue to work through the book and I can't wait to see how her techniques change as she completes each of Brenda Ellis's video lessons.

For more information on ARTistic Pursuits Inc. and the wide range of Art curriculum available for all grades and skill levels, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ARTisticPursui1

And be sure to click the banner below to read reviews by other crew members on the first four books from this series. 
Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

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