Saturday, March 7, 2009

TOS CREW Review: Artistic Pursuits

Artistic Pursuits is a homeschool art program created and used successfully by homeschoolers. They have products from multiple grade levels from preschool through senior high school. There is also a parents book available.

A quote from their website says:

"A variety of fun applications teach both the expressive and technical aspects of art while allowing children to make choices about what and how they will draw, paint, and sculpt. Assignments work within the stages of artistic development of children and guide them to mature artistic expression in the visual arts. "

The product that we are reviewing is Artistic Pursuits Grade K-3 Book One. This book combines art appreciation with an art activity for each of its 32 lessons.

Preparation for the lesson requires the acquisition of the recommended supplies. Supplies for grade K-3 book one include:

1- Artistic Pursuits canvas tote
2- Ebony pencil1- Eraser
1- Tape Bound Biggie Sketch Pad 9"x12" 50 lb. 125 sheets
1- Cray Pas (Oil Pastels) set of 24
1- Reeves Chalk (soft) pastel set of 12
1- Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons set of 10 in metal tin1- Watercolor Brush size #8
1- Biggie Watercolor Pad 9"x12", 50 sheet
1-Fiscars Kid Scissors
1- Heavy Weight Construction Paper, bright assorted colors
1- Heavy Weight Construction Paper, black
1- Art Tissue in assorted bright colors
1- 4lb. Pkg. gray self hardening clay

The supply list can be intimidating. I tried to find a few items at Walmart and was unsuccessful. However most of the items can be found at AC More and other art supply stores. They do sell a kit with all these items for $76 and also give you websites where you purchase these at discount art stores. For me I have to buy one item at a time because of the cost involved.

The curriculum is divided into three sections:

What Artist Do: covers the activities artist use when making art - composing, imagining, looking, etc. Exploration of drawing and paintings is covered in this section.

What Artist See: covers elements artists use in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional work such as shape, form, line, and color. Exploration of collage, paper works, drawing and color mixing is covered here.

Where We Find Art: looks at art in caves, pyramids, cathedrals, etc. Different media is used including chalk pastels, oil pastels, clay and paper works. Exploration of mural pottery, clay modeling, paper art, mosaic techniques and more.

The base of every lesson includes a full color artist painting in which you branch off from that to your activity. Discussion about the painting is simply included to build discussion between student and parent. That is followed by an project appropriate for the age group.

You can see samples of this curriculum if you click here.

The hardest part for me is getting the art supplies together. The lessons are easy to carry out once you have your supplies ready. The lessons we did you basically opened the book and proceeded with the lesson. Samples of other students work in full color is also included. We found this helpful for my perfectionist child who thinks it has to be perfect or like the artist painting.

I love the art history and discussion of the painting and the medium used for each lesson. This makes up 2/3 of each lesson. The project follows these discussions.

The curriculum might seem expensive but it is in full color throughout the book. Nearly every page has a full color photo and many have more then one. Many of the directions for the projects have step by step photos which are also done in full color.

My son has done one of the high school level books and had many very successful drawings and projects. This is what he used for his art credit for high school. I was glad to see that Artistic Pursuits has a full line up of curriculum for all ages.

Visit this website by clicking HERE.

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