Thursday, June 4, 2020

Artistic Pursuits (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We are always thrilled to get to try new curriculum from vendors that we haven't known about prior to being asked to review for them.  On the other hand, it's just as thrilling to get the opportunity to review a vendor that we not only have reviewed in the past, but have enjoyed and continue to use throughout the years.  Artistic Pursuits Inc. is one such company that we used their products multiple times and Ashleigh was pretty excited to find out she would be reviewing ARTistic Pursuits, Middle School 6-8 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition.

Ashleigh with Artistic Pursuits Author Brenda Ellis
Ashleigh loves art and the ability to create and the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum has played a huge role over the years in the growth she has shown since first picking up a pencil and making doodles.

The company was started by Brenda Ellis and has grown to be a full family business.   Mrs Ellis herself has more than 25 years of teaching art to students grades K-12th as well as having homeschooled her own three children. She believes that every child can understand the concepts of art and enjoy the process of putting ideas and visual images on paper.  The ARTistic Pursuits curriculum is designed for students to see the various techniques demonstrated after which they select their own subject and apply what they learn to their own artwork.  This is a concept that has worked really well for my own daughter and over the years, her art skills have grown leaps and bounds.

For this review, we were given a copy of the newly expanded edition of ARTistic Pursuits, Middle School 6-8 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition.  This 96 page spiral bound softback book contains 16 units that forcus on the elements of art theory and composition and covers ideas such as shape, form, texture, symmetry, rhythm and proportion.

The lessons are broken into four parts and should take roughly 2 weeks per lesson if a student is working at a pace of one lesson per class, two one hour classes per week. At this pace, the book contains a full 32 weeks worth of art instruction, although students can work at their own pace and may work at a faster or slower rate.

The 16 units are structured in such a way to follow the same format: 

Lesson 1: introduces the student to the topic of focus (shape, perspective, ect) for the unit. Here the student builds their visual vocabulary using words and examples and assignments are given to help the student to pay attention to and observe the concept in their own environment.
Lesson from the book
Lesson 2:  focuses on art history and art appreciation.  For this day, the student is shown how artists use the weekly focus in their own works of art.  The student is then given an assignment that has the student create their own work based on the artist/artwork studied.

Lesson 3:  Here the student learned how to use materials and tools while applying the lesson material to make their own artwork. Students learn about various supplies such as the grades of drawing pencils and then how use those materials to create more texture and dimension to their assignment for the lesson.

Lesson 4:  a final assignment for the unit asks the student to incorporate the new techniques they have learned in a wide array of drawing projects such as still life, landscapes, photographs and more.

For this course, students will need a set of drawing pencils (2H to 4B or more), a vinyl eraser, sandpaper (for chiseling an edge on their pencil), a drawing pad, bristol pad (or drawing pad made for ink), black waterproof drawing ink, #8 round tip paintbrush, 1 #101 Imperial pen nibs and a pen holder. (These are required for the 2nd semester of the course and are not necessary for the first portion of the course).

How We Used It

As soon as the book arrived, Ashleigh was ready to get started.  As mentioned, we had used ARTistic Pursuits curriculum in the past and now that Ashleigh is considered 6th grade, she was super excited to get started at the middle school level.   I think she was slightly disappointed when the first lesson in regards to space had an assignment asking her to simply write her signature stretching it across the page.   That was the assignment in it's entirety.  The assignment was important to the study, mind you, but she thought she was going to be creating the next Picasso I guess.

Well, she had to add some sort of artistic embellishments at least.

Luckily, the next assignment for that particular unit on space had her sketching a copy of Portrait of the Elephant, Dal Badal, Chasing His Attendant.  This lesson taught two things - about the cultures and art from India and China, as well as teaching her to visual her drawing space to better utilize it before starting to draw

The final lesson in the unit about Space asked her to read a story about The Blind Men and the Elephant. Afterward, she was asked to draw an illustration of it while focusing on the placement o fthe objects within her drawing space. So, as you can see, each drawing assignment continues to focus on the topic while providing multiple assignments to put art on the paper.

For the unit about using lines, Ashleigh decided for one of the assignments to draw the vase with flowers and peacock feathers that I keep on my table.  This lesson was from the second unit and I saw a huge different in her line work (and the use of heavy and light lines) just from the artwork above from lesson 1.

Ashleigh has made it to Unit 4 in her study and has learned so much already. Her typical line drawings, which were good in their own right, had really progressed to being so much more.  She's learning to use texture and shading in addition to her line work and the differences have been pretty amazing. 

Ashleigh using a photograph on the internet for a drawing reference

Without a doubt, we will continue on with the book thru completion and from there, we'll most likely purchase ARTistic Pursuits, Middle School 6-8 Book Two, Color and Composition and continue on with the curriculum.  Artistic Pursuits Inc. also offers to books for the high school level as well. As for Ashleigh's progress, I'll continue to post her artwork to the blog to showcase her progress as she moves through the program.

#hsreviews #ART, #Homeschool, #ARTEDUCATION, #artisticpursuits, #creativity

For more information about the vast selections of art instruction offered by Artistic Pursuits Inc., be sure to visit their website.  You can also find more information about the company at the following social media platforms:

Members of the Review Crew were offered their choice of art instruction books for a large variety of grade levels, including preschool, elementary, middle school and high school levels. Be sure to click the banner below to be taken to their reviews and see if the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum is right for your homeschool family.

Art Through The Ages & Art for Children {Artistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}

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