Sunday, March 14, 2010

Artistic Pursuits

image Artistic Pursuits is an art curriculum that is perfect for homeschoolers or other independent learners. The series, which has books that cover Kindergarten through high school levels, teaches about famous works of art and artists as well as technical skills, color theory and composition. The lessons in the books for grades 4 and up are directed toward the student and can be done with minimal parental involvement. Each book provides art instruction for a school year—two lessons a week.

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Emily tried out Book 2 (Color  and Composition) for grades 4-6.  Although I could have handed her the book to do independently, I felt that she would learn more with some discussion, so we read through each day’s lesson together and talked about the assignment before she tried it.  Each 4-lesson unit includes an art theory lesson,  a famous art print and artist biography, a technique lesson, and a final project. Examples of student work are pictured throughout the book.

The authors encourage use of quality art supplies, but the required supplies for this volume were not difficult to obtain. We already owned brushes, watercolor paper, and Prismacolor pencils and only had to purchase a set of watercolor pencils.

The authors suggest allotting an hour for each lesson, but Emily never spent that long. Unfortunately, she has NO tendencies toward perfectionism and is happy slapping down something quickly. On several occasions, I made suggestions for improvement or even had her redo a picture if she seemed to have forgotten to use the techniques she was supposed to be practicing. She did seem happy with her finished works, though and very much enjoyed using the program. I am hoping that continued use of Artistic Pursuits will help her learn to pay a bit more attention to the details.

My Thoughts….

I have used several art programs and this is my favorite. I love the balance of art instruction with creativity with education about the art masters. I love that it is easy to use and requires little daily setup. I appreciate that it is written to the student and doesn’t require the parent to have artistic knowledge and experience (because I don’t!)

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Emily says…

“It’s the best art program ever! I like to draw and paint and this inspires me to paint better. I hope there are more books!”

Each Artistic Pursuits volume sells for $42.95 and is entirely reusable for other children.

I received this volume of Artistic Pursuits free in exchange for my honest review.

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