ARTistic Pursuits was one of our all time favorite reviews last year, and we were so excited to be chosen to review another book this year! This time, it's Early Elementary K-3 Book 2 - Stories of Artists and their Art.
We started off learning about Cimabue, and went outside for our inspiration for these pieces. Jack's is a flower in a flowerpot, in honor of the birthday flowers Paul planted for me recently in our front yard, and on our porch.
Eli's painting was the houses at the end of the street, which he chose to give a modern twist to, by painting them in unexpected colors.
Next, we learned about Limbourg, and what a Book of Hours was from the 1400s. This was timely for us, as we're in the Middle Ages right now in our history program. Our project was "from sketch to watercolor." Eli depicted a plane flying against a background of fireworks exploding.
Jack chose to do a farm scene.
Like last year's book, we were introduced to entirely new mediums in this course! Here we have freshly smoothed spackle on hardboard, neither of which we've played with before. The spackle goes on pink, but dries white, which we though was cool.
I recently bought liquid watercolors, so we used those, instead of pan watercolors for this project. They're becoming another favorite.
Eli's piece shows a sunrise from the surface of another planet.
Jack's piece is the surface of the moon, complete with craters. I think the texture of the spackle really adds something to the final effect.
Working with watercolors again, we learned more about Cimabue, and about the use of gold leaf in altarpieces. Brainstorming, we came up with scenes that would include gold. Then we painted everything but the gold part.
As I was tossing out ideas, I suggested the boys could do a golden goblet. When neither of them decided to use that idea, I painted a background for it myself. What I learned from this is that I should have painted the whole background, instead of leaving the area to be "gold leafed" white. It's hard to get your gold leaf the exact size of your blank space.
Before and after of the boys' gold leaf paintings.
The book taught us that we can also "texture" the gold paper to give it more visual interest. Eli's making dots on his sun with the back of a paintbrush.
Project 3 was about Giotto and scratch art! First we colored a page of watercolor paper using a light colored oil pastel. Then, we went over it thick and heavy with a darker color. (I ended up buying a box of black pastels so we could do more of these later.)
Eli was very happy with the way his scratched airplanes came out! I like the sky effect the dark blue gives.
Jack made a castle!
We read about Jean Arnolfini and did more work with oil pastels. This is Jack's.
And this piece, in honor of the cartoon books we picked up on a recent library trip, is Eli's.
In another lesson, we learned a technique that will be very useful: painting with watercolors without them bleeding into one another! You see a lot of bleeding of colors in the works at the beginning of this post, so I'm really happy that we learned this. The eggs were mine. The boys liked having me paint with them, and I have to admit, despite having very little art background, I enjoyed working on some of the projects with them.
The taco is Eli's.
And the flower, trees, and Easter basket is Jack's.
You can tell we really learned a great deal from this book! I like how easy ARTistic Pursuits is to teach. There's a materials list in the front of the book (also available on their website), and each lesson has a quick read aloud and then instruction. It's a good combination of art history and art technique in small bits.
We'd never done printmaking before, and it was really interesting, spawning a discussion about how the printing press changed the world.
Early Elementary Art, book 2 sells for $47.95. With 36 lessons, this would be a full year of homeschool art lessons for a family that does art once a week. We tend to do art more than once a week, but we still have plenty of great projects left to try out.
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