Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ARTistic Pursuits- A TOS Review

Once again we have been blessed to review ARTistic Pursuits.  If you remember from about a year ago, we used  Elementary 4-5, Book One.  This time we were able to review Elementary 4-5, Book Two: Color and Composition, which concentrates on learning art skills while using watercolor pencils.

Let me just start by saying I am not an artist.  Neither are my kids.  As a matter of fact, if I could just skip art instruction I would, but like most kids, mine really do enjoy art.  For that reason I do try to incorporate art and art appreciation into our school year.

So far ARTistic Pursuits is one of the few art programs we have found  that we all like.  Divided into four day lessons, this program is thorough, informative and easy to use.  The first day of each lesson is Building a Visual Vocabulary and focuses on a child's real world experience for drawing. The second day introduces an artist with Art Appreciation and Art History.  This day shows you a picture of that artist and tells you a little about the artist and the picture.  There is another art activity for that day that is in the same theme that you just read about.  The third day is titled Techniques.   Here you will learn how to use various tools and materials while creating another piece of art.  The fourth and final day of the lesson is called Application. Here the project tends to encompass all of the techniques you have learned for the week.

Spelling You See Review

Book 2 consists of  subjects like the color wheel, tinting and shading, direction and movement, front and back point of views, buildings, figures and more.  There are a total of 16 units, with an evaluation sheet at the end to help you in assigning a letter or number grade to your child's projects if you so desire.   

How we used this-  All of my kiddos used this book together- ages 6,12 and 16.  We even got the 20 year old to do one day with us for fun. We are still trying to find our groove with a schedule for this program.  While ARTitistic Pursuits recommends two classes a week, about an hour each class.  This can be modified to fit your students.  We have approached it several different ways.  For the first lesson unit, The Color Wheel,  we did two lessons each week, for a total of two weeks.  While I liked the slow pace, I felt we were dragging things out a lot and the younger kids asked when we were going to do art again frequently.  The third week we tried doing an entire lesson in one week, therefore completing a unit.   This almost was too much for me as a teacher, not necessarily for them though.  I think we have finally decided on a better plan for us.  We have recently been combining two of the unit's lessons and therefore completing one unit in three days.  For us, this has been a middle of the road approach and one we felt most comfortable with. Depending on what the assigned project was for each day, I chose which two days to combine and picked just one of the two projects to complete.

What did we think?  Just like before, we thoroughly enjoy using ARTistic pursuits.  I love how it combines not only art instruction but art history as well in an easy to use format.  The kids like the projects. But let me tell you- watercolor pencils are not as easy as they seem.  Even momma struggled a little.  One thing I did find out was that while the samples they show from other kids are probably suppose to inspire you, two of my kids seemed to be disheartened when their projects did not measure up in their eyes.  We did have to spend some time talking about how everyone had different strengths and weaknesses, and that not everyone's pictures were going to look the same.

Spelling You See Review
While this program has not turned us all into the next Picasso, it has stretched our minds and abilities and has been a fun class to do together.  This is a great program for those of you looking to add a little art into your house.  One thing I want to note- the ARTistic Pursuits' website has great kits you can purchase for each of the books they have.  They also recommend the Blink art website that allows you to type in which program you are using and it will immediately pull up the supply list.   Let me just say- save yourself the trouble of having to locate all the supplies and just let someone else do it for you!  You will be glad that you did.

Elementary 4-5, Book Two:  Color and Composition can be purchased for $47.95, and is recommended for ages 9 and up.

You can find ARTistic Pursuits on their Facebook page:

The TOS Crew had the opportunity to review several different books in this series including the newest on Sculpture which is getting rave reviews.  If art is your thing, I would recommend you check out what others had to say as well about that product and more!

Click to read Crew Reviews

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