My husband is very artistic. He can draw anything and it pretty much looks exactly like it is supposed to. I know that if he tried he could make a living at being an artist. But, he chooses to just share his talent with us. My son has taken after him. He can draw very well. If he takes his time, he can draw great. I was very excited to hear that I would be getting an art book from Artistic Pursuits as part of the TOS crew. This is an art curriculum that is written for homeschooling students or individual study. It is great because it is written to the student so there is no teacher required. I was allowed to pick which book I wanted to receive and this was hard for me to do. Bella loves to color so she would have enjoyed getting the 1st grade book. But, after thinking about this for awhile I decided to get the 4th-6th grade book that teaches color and composition. This includes learning how to paint with water color pencils and Griffin thought this sounded fun. The company provides art curriculum for Kindergarten through 8th grade and it is a very in depth art study.
The Kindergarten book is an introduction to the visual arts. You can see at the top of the book that they say this is a curriculum for creativity. That is another thing I really like about these books. They allow your child to be creative. Although they tell you a general idea of what to do, they give the student the freedom to pick the actual subject or project.
This is the book we received. It is for 4th through 6th grade and is book 2 for this level. It starts out with the color wheel and looking at color in art. There are 16 units that are then broken down into 4 lessons. This is a partial list of what is included in this book
* Tinting and shading
* Direction and Movement
Before we could get started, we had to buy art supplies. I thought we had a lot of art stuff, but I was surprised at what we don’t have. And guess, what? It isn’t cheap. I really wanted to wait until the homeschool conference to buy supplies because I know they have great prices there; but, this review was due before then so I had to break down and get them at Michael’s. The first thing he had to have was watercolor pencils. We have regular water color paints, but he needed the pencils. I spent $24 on the pencils alone. And, that was only for 12. I suggest trying to find them online because they have much better prices. As usual, I procrastinated and had to pay more. We already had the watercolor paper(which is thicker than regular paper) and nice paint brushes. Artistic Pursuits has put together the art supplies that you will need for each book and offers this at their website. This helps a lot of if you don’t want to hunt for everything you need. The prices seemed high to me at first, but that was before I went looking.
Griffin has really enjoyed this book. His favorite parts are when he gets to go outside and draw. This is a picture of what you see when you look out our front door. It isn’t very pretty right now but when the trees and field are green it is much nicer.
One of the first lessons is to look at color. It teaches about Albert Bierstadt who was a well known painter who did paintings of Colorado and Wyoming for the United States government. He painted wonderful landscapes that encouraged people to move out west.
This is Griffin’s first attempt at landscape painting with watercolor pencils. I think he did an amazing job. I never realized how difficult it would be to draw with a colored pencil and then go over it with a paintbrush to make it look painted. This is his favorite thing he has done so far. He worked on this for about 40 minutes. He learned which way to “paint” with the brush to make it look realistic and that the pressure you apply determines the width of your lines. After he finished, he said, “I should have drawn the trees in front bigger so they look like they are in front”. He has learned so much about art in just the few weeks he has been using this.
If you are looking for a self guided art program for your children, I suggest you look at Artistic Pursuits. The books cost $42.95 each. I think this seems high but when you realize that one book can be your art curriculum for an entire school year, it is more reasonable sounding. You could even stretch the book out longer if you do one lesson a week. We like art, so my kids want to do it more often.
Please visit them at www.artisticpursuits.com to see this great art curriculum. They accept Paypal which makes ordering super easy. They also are going to be at several homeschool conventions this year so visit them there, also. I plan on looking at the 1st grade book for Bella at Midwest Homeschool Convention when I attend in April. She is feeling left out and wants her own art book. You can view which conferences they are going to be at by going to their website.
** Please note that I received a copy of Grades 4-6 book 2 from Artistic Pursuits at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion in this review. No other compensation was provided. I did not promise a favorable review, just an honest opinion of this product.