A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ARTistic Pursuits

I've mentioned a couple times that we've been doing more ART than usual lately.  We got the opportunity to try out the ARTistic Pursuits homeschool art curriculum.  They have several different books available, and we got Early Elementary K-3 Book One, An Introduction to the Visual Arts.  Honestly, I think the title is a bit misleading.  My reviewers were in grades 4, 7, and 8, and they were plenty challenged by the materials.  The recommended age is 5 and up, and my 10, 12, and 14 year olds really got a lot out of it.

Book One, which sells for $47.95, is divided into three parts:  What Artists Do, What Artists See, and Where We Find Art.  Since I knew we couldn't finish all 36 lessons in our 6 week review period, I made sure to pull from all 3 sections.

In What Artists Do we learned that artists Compose and Imagine.

I particularly appreciated the instructions for how to use a paintbrush correctly.  Hopefully, I won't have to shriek, "Gentle!" when I see the kids painting any more.

The lessons are structured with a reading, a work of art to look at with questions to answer about it (these help the students really observe a piece, as opposed to just glancing at it), and then a project.

The watercolor crayons quickly became a favorite media.

When blended with a wet paintbrush, they produce lovely results.

We spent several happy sessions, listening to audio drama and doing art.

This piece is one of Eli's, and it depicts the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney's California Adventure.

In What Artists See, we took a look at Shapes.

One of the projects involved cutting shapes from construction paper to create a picture.

In Where We Find Art, I cheated a little bit.  I was so excited to find a Greek Pottery project that we did that one first.

We haven't done clay work before, so this was a very tactile new learning experience.

We made pinch pots!

Using a little water to smooth the sides...

...made for some slimy hands!

It was hard to wait a couple days for the pots to dry and harden sufficiently before the next step.

We used a little water to help the black watercolor crayon glide smoothly on.

We all fell in love with the watercolor crayons.

I never would have tried them if they hadn't been on the materials list!  I didn't know what we were missing out on!

Brianna even made a lid for her pinch pot.

Jack's pinch pot has fierce warriors on it.

Where We Find Art was my favorite section.

The reading part for Art In Caves was fascinating, and our cave drawings were fun to make.

Working with the soft pastels was a little bit messy, but interesting.

You can see the influence of the Brother Bear movie in this piece.  The reddish orange is a hand print.

In Art Underground, we learned about Near Eastern Pottery.

It was back to working with clay, making figures.

We used cardboard tubes as the base for our figures.

Unfortunately, some of the "details" of Jack's figure fell off as it dried.  For me, this served to illustrate how amazing it is that some of these ancient relics have survived so many years.

ARTistic Pursuits has materials lists for each of their books, and I was able to order all my supplies easily online.

I ended up using a dedicated Thirty One bag just for our art review materials.  I liked being able to keep everything together, ready for our next lesson.

And I loved the new supplies and concepts that we were introduced to through this homeschool art curriculum.

Totally on her own, Brianna decided to make try creating some blended colors with the watercolor crayons.  This is actually a "key" that shows the various "recipes" she came up with, and the result of each.

You can see how she used some of those blends in her frame here.

ARTistic Pursuits has books for all ages, from Preschool through High School, and includes a variety of media, even their new Sculpture Technique books!

We have love, love, loved this review!  Even though we've only worked through 7 or 8 lessons so far, I feel we've learned new things.  This program is a great fit for our family, and I look forward to completing the rest of the lessons in the book.  If our curriculum for next year did not already include an art program, you can be sure I would be adding another ARTistic Pursuits book to my shopping list.

You can follow ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook, and you can read what other Crew families had to say about this and other books from ARTistic Pursuits by clicking the box below.

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