ARTistic Pursuits - Review

I unfortunately was not born with an artistic talent. I can sew, play instruments, cook, but art is not my fortay. One of my older daughters somehow gained an amazing art talent though. Because of my lack of skill when it comes to teaching art, I've used different curriculum over the years to help out with homeschooling this subject. Our family knows the name of ARTistics Pursuits Inc. quite well. We have used and reviewed several of their books over the years (links will be included at the end of previous reviews). Recently, we had the chance to try out one of their books from their newest series, ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray. There are 4 books so far in the series and we specifically used the book Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary.

This book is quite different from the previous books we've used. This is the first book of the series and since my 1st grader was new to this program, we chose to start from the beginning. The book is geared towards grades K-3. It is a hardback book with 63 pages and a total of 18 lessons. What is unique about this series is that they include on the inside of the front cover, 6 lessons on DVD and Blu-Ray (same lessons on both but give you options on how to view them). The other 12 lessons are detailed and laid out in the book.

There will eventually be a total of 8 books in this series. The recommended way to start is to start with book 1 then you can pick and choose which historical volume you want to work on, or follow history chronologically in going through the art lessons.

At the beginning of the book, it shares what art supplies you will need in order to do all the lessons in that book as well as what household supplies you will need. For this book, we had everything on hand except watercolor crayon set which is simple to purchase. The purpose behind these lessons are not only to teach children different methods of art, but teach them the vocabulary that artists use and how they view everyday things in life in terms of shapes and texture.

The video lessons are intertwined with the book lessons. The videos are short and they give live examples of what the child will be doing (so you will see them cutting, gluing while they are talking). They also give simple reminders such as to make sure you stack your scrap paper together, close up the crayons, put the scissors away which I thought was neat.

The book lessons give prep notes for the lesson which means you don't have to figure things out or research stuff ahead of time. Then the actual lesson goes on to give explain views of artists on the way they compose, imagine, observe, etc. There is then a picture of an artists photo with questions to get the child to observe and pick out certain things about that painting.

Then the next part of the lesson tells you what supplies to gather and gives instruction on the project that the child will work on. It shows photos steps as well as actual project done by a child with their first name and age.

My daughters favorite project so far that we completed was where she used construction paper to cut and layer (lesson 7). The original photo showed a daytime pic but we didn't have 2 different shades of blue so we opted to do a nighttime version of this photo (which the book clearly stated from the beginning that the child is to make their own variation of each lesson). So instead of clouds, she cut out a star and a moon on the black sky. She used some markers and crayons to make designs on her house.

The lessons are intended to be completed at the rate of 1 a week but they are pretty short so you can easily do more than one a week if you wanted to.

The back of the book gives a list of objectives for each lesson as well as shapes template that you could copy to use for some of the lessons.

Overall, this book was a great first introduction to art and the history of art for early elementary students. My daughter wanted to do more projects pretty frequently. I think it would be neat if they had a web link to give additional project ideas for each lesson so they could practice more of the same ideas for each lesson for the student to practice with.

Previous reviews on ARTistic Pursuits:

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Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}
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