We had the opportunity to review a physical copy of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary from ARTistic Pursuits Inc.
If you have preschool and elementary age children, introduce them to art! If you have teens, introduce them to art! Unless one’s child has an interest in art, it often does not get included in homeschool.
When my children were younger, they enjoyed art. It was not instructional, but rather colored pencils, crayons, paint, sparkles and a whole lot of glue. Well, that rhythm got curbed somewhere and art fell out of our daily life and never made it into our school. In our home, we still have an arts and crafts closet full of many items that would spark creativity, but do not open it as often as we should.
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. touts itself as being, “The curriculum for creativity!” As many times the Homeschool Review Crew has reviewed products from the company, this is the first time I have reviewed a product from them. We had the opportunity to review Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, which is the first book in the kindergarten through third grade series. There are currently three other books in the series: Art of the Ancients (Volume 2), Art of the Middle Ages (Volume 3) and Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance (Volume 4), Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism (Volume 5) and Art of the Impressionists (Volume 6). Two more books, Art of the Modern Age (Volume 7) and Art in America (Volume 8), are due later this summer. Those two will close out the eight volume, four year course.
What is so neat about the new update to the series is that they include video lessons. The book comes with two discs (one DVD and one Blu-ray). Parents can almost just sit back while their child learns from master artists; someone who relay enjoys art and knows what the are doing as far as real instruction. There are 18 lessons: 12 featuring Master Works and six videos lessons that cover art material. You may also find yourself participating (or at least trying) in some of the lessons, because the instruction is an introduction. The instruction is appealing to young children and some in older grades (fourth and maybe fifth) could benefit from the art basics that are taught in the course. Despite the fact the course is the first book in the series, by the end of the course, students are introduced to some complex techniques like drawing a self-portrait.
The supplies are basic and there is even a list, in the book, of the items you will need to complete the course. Each lesson has prep notes and there is a helpful list, in the back of the book, of the objectives for each lesson. So, depending on the skill level of your child, you can start at the beginning or on a lesson that addresses the specific techniques and skills you want them to learn.
Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary is the first in the course series and covers the basics of art. Students learn the definitions of words like form and collage and how to use different arts mediums. Some of the other things they learn is how to observe a scene whether from a picture, object or in real life (outdoors) and helpful tips, like using pencil to prep work before permanence.
Before each lesson, I read the prep notes and let Canyon gather the art tools he would need. This is a great way for children new to art, to become familiar with their art tools and supplies. We read through the lesson and then watched the companion video for the lesson. The lessons teach detail, but are not long. They are just long enough to teach the objective of the course and build excitement in the student for completing the art project lesson.
I sat with Canyon while he watched the lessons and, well, my artwork just never matched (or came close) to what the instructor was doing on the screen. I think I am jaded when it comes to drawing art (also with paper). Fortunately, I am very creative, which is all a person really needs to complete the art courses. Along that line, all a child really needs is an interest.
This is a project from Lessons #7 and #8 working with paper. Lily used to make me pictures like this when she was younger.
I tried my hand at one of the projects. It is interesting how what your eyes see does not always translate well onto the page. I know what I wanted to draw and well, it looks a little bit better in my head.
I may be more of a block artist; able to create wonderful pictures from block shapes. Students learn how to draw using shapes in Lesson #15. More study on drawing what you actually see is completed in Lesson #5.
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. can work well as an independent course for your child, but it makes a great effort to engage the child and parent in the study. Art, just like a good book, is meant to be shared. The conversations that Canyon and I had about some of the art covered in the course was interesting. On some pieces, we shared the same thoughts and on others our perspective was totally different.
Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary is a wonderful introduction to art and for sparking the creative spirit. There are some skills that cannot be taught. Some may say art is one of them, but I do not think that is true. Whether your child enjoys/likes art, they will learn much from the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. art curriculum. The company offers art curriculum through high school and sculpture courses for students in sixth through twelfth grades.
Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary is well laid out. From cover to cover, each lesson is concise (but thorough), engaging and just long enough to maintain interest without boring the student. It gives students a great foundation for art and inspires them to the skill they can achieve. An example is this self-portrait from Lesson #18.
Summer is a great time to enjoy art, so we are going to continue working through the study until completion.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary for $39.99.