Thursday, March 14, 2019

ARTistic Pursuits (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Ashleigh loves art.  I love being able to provide materials for art instruction to help Ashleigh hone her artistic skills.  So when we were given the opportunity to review Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4, the fourth book from the K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series from  ARTistic Pursuits Inc. , we were thrilled. 

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. 

Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4 is book 4 in the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series.  These are series of 8 volumes of hardback books, written by Brenda Ellis,  to introduce students grades K-3 to various art concepts. Each of  64 page books in the series 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).

Each book focuses on a primary art medium for students to learn, such as pastels, clay, pencil drawings, ect.  

Volume 4 emphasizes lessons on using different methods of watercolor painting, including resist (creating negative areas in a painting) and frescoes (watercolor paintings done on wet plaster). Students also learn about scratch art and using oil pastels in the book.

Sample Art Lesson from Book 4
 In addition to the art instruction, the book also contains the stories of artists such as Giovanni Cimabue, Jan van Eyck, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.  

Table of Contents for Book 4

Students are introduced to artwork created by these masters of the Italian Renaissance and try to learn different techniques in their own art from what they observe in these master's works of art. 

How We have Used It

Anything that has to do with art, Ashleigh is all over.  She is, without any doubt, our artistic child.  Over the past few months, Ashleigh has really developed her own style of artwork and that has really shined thru with each of her lessons with this ARTistic Pursuits book.

While Ashleigh is 4th grade, there is still more than enough offered in this book for her to learn from.  Starting with the lessons about the Masters.  Each lesson brings the students attention to the various techniques that the artist was known for.  Each lesson also offers a series of questions designed to make the student really study the artwork being presented.  While the questions are gears for younger students, Ashleigh didn't seem to mind answering them at all.  She has really enjoyed learning about the artists we have studied so far and there is just enough material presented to keep her interest without being dry and boring. 

We have done one lesson per week, following the lessons in the order they are presented. I'm glad we decided to do it this way rather than skipping around as we found that lessons often referred back to the previous lesson as far as the material about the artist or the technique that was used previously. 

The first lesson we completed was a video lesson.  We watched a rather short video presentation that was an introduction to watercolor.  After this 8 minute video, Ashleigh was ready to start her first art project.  For this lesson, she was asked to paint a self portrait of herself wearing one of her favorite outfits, in watercolor.  

Ashleigh's Self  Portrait
This was actually her second attempt at this picture, as she did have some problems with creating a flesh tone she was happy with and she ended up smudging the face.  She got pretty frustrated with it.. The above is the final product after her second attempt. 

Her second lesson as about Giovanni Cimabue, who is an artist we have not studied previously.  Cimabue was a Greek painter who was brought to Florence, Italy to help paint the Gondi Chapel.  This lesson also introduced Ashleigh to the method of using gold leaf incorporated in paintings.   This lesson originally substituted gold paper for the gold leaf but we found a good deal on imitation gold leaf so we thought it would be fun to play around with it.   Ashleigh enjoyed it - mom wasn't such a fan at how messy it actually turned out to be.  But Ashleigh was super happy with her results so that's what matters. 

Gluing Gold Leaf to her Painting

Sparkly Artwork
Finished Project

 Our next lesson was about Giotto di Bondone.  This artist practiced under Cinabue as a young boy and liked to paint pictures of his sheep on stones.  He was also well known for his ability to show emotion in his art thru the use of gestures. For this lesson, Ashleigh had to show emotion through her own artwork, again using watercolors.

Showing expression and emotion thru gestures
Our final art lesson for the review period introduced us the the Limbourg brothers - Paul, Jean and Herman.  These brothers would paint the life of the Duke of Berry each month, using the surrounding landscapes and creating calendar paintings.  

For this lesson, Ashleigh had to create her own calendar page, based on what it looked like outside at this time.  She did a great job creating the calendar itself, including important days such as the first day of spring, her birthday and even the start of the Iditarod. 

 With our pace of doing 1 lesson per week, we have 14 weeks of lessons to keep her entertained for the rest of the school year.  I love that she will be learning different techniques to create texture and motion in her artwork.  

We have always been very pleased with all of ARTistic Pursuits Inc. materials and Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4 doesn't disappoint. 

#hsreviews #myartisticpursuits #homeschoolart #artinstruction #hsreview #homeschool #blueribbonaward #finearts #art

To find out more information about ARTistic Pursuits Inc. and their extensive collection of art instruction books, visit their website.  You can also find them at the following social media sites:

Each member of the Crew was offered to review one of the 8 various volumes of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction books.  Be Sure to Click the Banner Below to Read Their Reviews Today.  

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}

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