Wednesday, March 6, 2013

REVIEW: ARTistic Pursuits

I had heard so many great things about ARTistic Pursuits, I couldn’t wait to be able to get this one in the mail and begin using it with Abbey.  It has NOT disappointed.  It has brought art to life in a very unique way for my budding artist, and she has enjoyed practically every lesson. 

We were blessed to be chosen to review Elementary 4 - 5: Book Two, Color and Composition, and this was the perfect fit for Abbey because she had been doing another art program since the beginning of the year, and had a good knowledge of the mediums and tools that are used in this book in the series. 

The thick, comb-bound, 92-page book by Brenda Ellis is a beautiful, kid-friendly, full color manual. The teaching part of each lesson is just long enough to keep her interest before she is cut free to do her own interpretation of each day’s assignment.  

The focus of this book in the series is color and and composition.  Color is taught in an easy-to-understand manner; to observe and understand the different combinations, both overt and subtle, found in everyday life and how to use that knowledge to create your own works of art

To teach the students art appreciation, famous works of art are featured in each new unit so your student can observe how different artists used color, composition, and light to create a scene, or a mood, or a statement.  

 As a wonderful bonus, each new unit introduces art history by featuring one famous artist’s work and life story.   

This was one of Abbey’s favorite parts--so much so, that she asked to go to an art museum.  While we live two hours from an art museum, this was not a simple request, but one Friday we loaded up and drove down to Mobile.  We had the absolute BEST time exploring Mobile Museum of Art.  The best part? She recognized many of the artists we had studied in ARTisticPursuits! She was thrilled to see the connection and to see those artists’ other works of art.  Neither one of us wanted to leave that day. 

 Later lessons in the book also focus on composition and its importance. 

How we used this art program: We do art an average of four days a week, so we are moving through the lessons fairly quickly.  We do take as much as an hour for art some days (you can’t rush an artist when she is the middle of the creative process).  I realize that not everyone has that much time to devote to art, so I suggest that you do it less often if you need to in order to allow your budding artist to have an unrushed, creative thinking time for each lesson.  The author recommends at least two lessons per week.

ARTistic Pursuits recommends taping the edges of the watercolor paper to prevent curling while drying.  Brilliant!

The author, Brenda Ellis, encourages the artists (your student) to take their time, think about common, familiar items in new, creative ways.  Sometimes this has come easily for Abbey and sometimes she struggles with it.  I assured her that almost every great artist in the world has had work that they didn’t feel right about and scrapped it and started over.  

Abbey's thoughts on the program (her words): "It is awesome! I love learning all the new and different art projects!" 

I have been excited to write this review for many reasons, but especially because I couldn’t wait to show off some of her artwork, er, masterpieces.

Please enjoy some of her creations: 

A collection of the first two units of work!
Observation Assignment: Abbey sat on the front porch on a rainy day and sketched our neighbor's tree with the rain coming down around it.

Close Up Assignment: Abbey was instructed to find a common object outside and take a small section of it and draw it as if she was tiny and it was huge. She chose the sitting rock around our fire pit.

Landscape Assignment: Abbey was instructed to sketch and paint a scene from a calendar or landscape and make it her own. 
Soft and Hard Edges Assignment:  Abbey was instructed to use her paintbrush in different positions to create hard and soft edges in her artwork.  For her object, she chose a snow globe.

Imagination Drawing: Drawing right up to the edges of the object, avoiding white space as much as possible!

Imagination Drawing:  A porcupine carrying a horse while the trees cheer her on!

Still Life Drawing: Abbey used some of her toy elephants to create this scene of a mama elephant and her baby.

Supplies Needed:  ARTistic Pursuits includes a supply list and even offer optional Supply Packs for purchase on their website for $45.  For most of us, that is a bit steep for supplies for an elective subject, so please know that I was able to easily find them at our local Walmart in the arts and crafts section. I spent less than $18 to get Abbey started with decent, quality brushes, watercolor pencils, and watercolor paper.  

Elementary 4 - 5, Book Two: Color and Composition is available for $47.95, and includes 16 units and over 48 art projects. [You cannot take that many art classes for that price!]

More books in the series:

Bottom line: This has been one of our favorite products to review. I am planning on continuing ARTistic Pursuits with Abbey and I highly recommend it for your own resident artist! 

Please check out even more reviews on ARTistic Pursuits by clicking the banner below


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1 comment:

  1. How fun!! We just got one of these books at a used bookstore, and I can't wait to jump in! I just nominated you for a bloggy award--the Liebster Award!


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