Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TOS Review - Artistic Pursuits

We recently had the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits,   Junior High Book Two, Color and Composition by Brenda Ellis.

 I first became acquainted with ARTistic Pursuits early on in our homeschooling career through huge endorsements and high praises from fellow homeschoolers.  I remember looking at the program when my oldest was just in preschool!  Time has flown! She's now 13 and well into her Jr. High studies but her love of art and her artistic ability is still just as strong now as it was when she was three.  

 From Artistic Pursuits website regarding this book:

This book gives students an in-depth look at color theory and how to use it with a dry media such as soft or hard pastels and oil pastels. The element of color is explored in 8 units, completing the student's study of the elements of art. Composition, as it relates to color, is further explored in the following 8 units, covering ideas of depth and perspective found throughout the world. Emphasis is on World Art. 

Each unit contains four lessons, here's what they cover (sample copy of Lesson 12)

 Lesson One
  • Building a Visual Vocabulary - Students are given a topic to focus on through words and pictures. They are to observe their own environment to make connections to the real-world experiences. Then, they create works of art incorporating their topic they focused on and their environment.
 Vocabulary and Creative Exercise

Lesson Two
  • Art Appreciation and Art History - Art work from famous artists are shown that emphasis the topics in Lesson One.  The student learns how the various artists incorporated those elements into their artwork and then create their own works of art using what they learned in Lesson one as well as what they have observed from the Masters in Lesson 2. For Art History, there is a small section on the featured artist as well as a section on the culture from that time. We found these sections really interesting.
Art Appreciation

Art History

Lesson Three
  • Techniques - Students learn how to use the materials and tools to create new pieces of art.

Lesson Four
  • Application - A final project is completed combining all the three elements previously studied, incorporating a variety of references such as still life objects, landscapes, portraiture, photographs, etc.
There is a suggested schedule to follow of allowing for two, one hour classes, per week.  This will give you 32 weeks of lessons, so one book will take you through an entire school year.

Provided in the book is a list of art supplies to have on hand for the lessons, which I love! Having the supply list printed in the front of the book for all lessons included makes it so easy to make sure I had everything my students were going to need long before they ever needed them! They give suggested brand names and even provide pictures of the products, which I found handy when I was trying to find some of the products. :) They really do try to make art as fun and painless for everyone, even those like me who are not artistically bent. :)

Our book included a page on safe handling of the art medium, which I appreciated. Since we were using pastels, both dry and oil, I was glad that my students got a safety lesson before ever opening their box of colors. 

All of my kids have seemed to pick up an art gene somewhere (not from me!), so receiving this product for review was pure joy.  They loved doing the lessons and learning new techniques. They have always enjoyed looking at art, my 13 year old just asked if we could go visit our local art museum yesterday. :)  They enjoyed every aspect of this program. From looking at the colorful masterpieces and learning about the artist that created them to learning new techniques and creating their own works of art, they found it all to be fun and something they look forward to each week.

I used this book with my two oldest ages 13 and 11. The lessons are written clearly enough that they can take the book and do the lessons on their own.  Something that we all appreciated as I wasn't always available to go over each lesson with them before they started.

 13 yo's picture overlaying color and using bold strokes around the subject
(Unit 2)

11 yo's picture of using one color and "erasing" color to get shading from paper underneath
(Unit 1)

ARTistic Pursuits has books for ages Preschool through Highschool. The books are non-consumable so you are able to use them with your entire family through the years.  Each book sells for $42.95 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

ARTistic Pursuits philosophy can be found here, but I think the quote in my daughters Jr. High Level 2 book, lesson 2, sums up their philosophy pretty well:

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing" - Aristotle

You won't find scripted lessons, video's or lessons that have no real world application. Your student will learn by immersing themselves in the world of art and by creating their own masterpieces.  This was perfect for my creative gals and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn by doing, not by watching!

Check out their website for more info on their philosophy and while you're there make sure you check out the gallery of different students works, created by using ARTistic Pursuits! 

To see what others on the TOS Crew thought of ARTistic Pursuits and to see other levels (the crew reviewed all of them :) ), click here.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.


Nikki said...

Wow! You all are an artistic bunch. We have the K-3 book and like it, but this color one looks like a lot of fun too!

Rodna Allman said...

We did Junior High Book 1. we love it.

I am stopping by from the Blog Walk.

I know I am behind, but I am catching up.

Looks like I was already following you.

Would love a follow back, if you are not following me.

Thanks. Have a great day.