Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ARTistic Pursuits: A Review

ARTistic Pursuits is a company which has put together some amazing art books for kids in preschool through high school.  Jacob, my 9th grader, had the opportunity to use the Book 1 for High School: The Elements of Art and Composition.  He has a lot of courses this year that are more difficult than he is used to, so I was glad to get an art curriculum to review because he loves to draw.  He is especially good at drawing animals, as can be seen by the lizard he drew for an assignment in one of the first two units.  We made it through two whole units and two lessons in the third unit while reviewing this book.  He wants to continue using the book even though the official review period is over.  He said he would gladly keep using it because he really likes it.

There are 16 different units contained in this book and include such things as space, line, texture, form, value, contrast and unity, composition, balance, rhythm, depth by overlapping, one- and two-point perspective, atmospheric perspective, and others.  Jacob worked on space, line, and began working on texture.  This book includes a lot of different items in a lesson.  There is art appreciation.  The student is shown how an existing piece of art, which is displayed in color, exhibits clearly the topic of the lesson, be it balance, texture, or some other element. They are given a brief biography of the artist and an explanation of the history in which the artist lived and how it affected him and his art.  Work by other students is included throughout the book.  Inspirational quotes are also scattered throughout the book.

There are only a few art items needed during the first semester of the course: a drawing pencil set which includes 2H through 4B pencils, a vinyl eraser, a pencil sharpener, and a drawing pad.  The second course requires a few more items like vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, a charcoal paper pad, a kneaded eraser, and a few other items.  The second semester begins at unit 8  and teaches components of composition.  All of the supplies are able to be purchased through ARTistic Pursuits if you would rather not have to go out and find them yourself.  Simply click on the "Art Supply Packs" link and choose the pack that goes with the book you will be using.

I like that this high school course is student-directed.  The book is written to the student.  I don't need to do anything except make sure his assignments are getting done which really isn't a problem when it comes to art.  Every day I see him walking around with his sketch pad finding household items or items outside he can draw.  He had a clay lizard in his room which he drew for an assignment in unit 2.

Each of the high school books is $47.95 and includes 68 lessons on 92 pages. The second high school book is entitled, "Color and Composition," and works more with paint than with pencil and charcoal.  Jacob is a drawer, so this first book works very well for him.

I asked Jacob to give his opinion, and he says, "It is fun.  Some of the lessons give you a little bit too much work, like today's lesson that had you draw 10 things.  Otherwise, it is fun and can help you develop in your artistic skills.  If you wanted to be an artist, then this would probably be the curriculum for you."

If you would like to read more reviews about ARTistic Pursuits' products, you can find them on the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

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  1. Encourage Jacob to work hard with the composition piece, in the event he happens to migrate into photography. The same composition principles he is learning in drawing remain relevant in doing good photography work. Good images from the camera (or post-processing) include good composition. Technical factors, such as exposure and lighting are important, but composition is critically important.

  2. That is a great lizard. We enjoy using these books, too.