Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A TOS Review: ARTistic Pursuits




 Does teaching art intimidate you?  Yeah, me too. I can do a few things to get by, other than that I’m lost.  I know it’s tempting to count the crayon drawing in your hallway as “art education.” I have had plenty of those in my time as Josiah Bevan’s mother.

That being said, it is important for me to make sure my son has a well-rounded arts education (not including hallway drawings). ARTistic Pursuits understands the need for quality homeschool art education.  They have a complete line of art curriculum books for every age.

I was fortunate to be able to review their Middle School 6-8, Book 2:  Color and Composition, which focuses (obviously) on color and composition, but also teaches students how to use hard pastels and oil pastels.



This curriculum is intended for Middle School students in grades 6-8. It is the second book of the series on Art and Composition. It comes in a large, spiral bound book  that is full of inspiration, challenges and instruction.

The “mysterious language of color” is explored. Students learn to use color pastels, work with textures, observe hue and intensity, space and depth and much, much more.  

There are 16 units in the book; each unit containing 4 lessons. Each lesson focuses on elements of art and principles of design. The first lesson will help establish a visual vocabulary. The second will study art appreciation and art history. The third lesson will work on technique and the fourth lesson will an opportunity for the complete a final project using what he or she has learned throughout that unit.

You can read more about the Units by checking out the Middle School 6-8, Book 2:  Color and Composition page. Just scroll down to the bottom.

The book recommends that you schedule two Art classes per week and spend about an hour with each class. This, of course, depends on the enthusiasm of your artist. Some projects just need a bit more time and attention!

To start our art classes we needed to get some art supplies together. These were:



Pastels, Oil Pastels, Pastel Paper pad, drawing paper, paper stump, kneaded eraser, a vinyl eraser, a sharpener and Natural Chamois. We also used aerosol hairspray, masking tape and cotton balls.

I’m just a little bit blessed. My momma is an artist and has a whole closet full of stuff ready for the pillaging. I simply took my list to her. It’s like having my own personal shopper.

I decided that I, too, wanted to do the Art lessons right along with Josiah. I had a few reasons. He is dyslexic (and dysgraphic). It was easier for him to enjoy doing art without having to concentrate on reading. If you have a student who doesn’t struggle with reading I have no doubt that this can be a self-study. On the other hand I wanted to play as well! If you can, I suggest you do the lessons right alongside your student.  They were so much fun!

Before I show you a whole gallery of our projects I need to say that pastels were a really good medium for Josiah to work with. He has dysgraphia and struggles a bit with his fine motor skills. The pastels are a bit messy, but they are forgiving. There were never any disasters. I think he is quite proud of what he was able to accomplish. 



One of the assignments was to draw an animal with chalk pastels. We drew a pair of adorable cartoon cats. I can't find mine. I took a picture of it a few weeks ago, but I think the both the original and the picture ran away from home.


Here is Josiah's castle. I think it's quite lovely and story "bookish." He did a nice job with his colors..


Here is mine. I'm not sure why my mountains look like they are residing in the tree tops.


We loved the little challenges given along the way. This particular lesson had us coloring in an apple and a pear with a main color, applying hair spray and then going back after it was dry and layering the color.


I have to tell you that I haven't seen that much hairspray fly since my days as a teenager in the 80's.


Some of the neatest aspects of this book is that it gives us some history right along with the lessons. The assignment for the above picture came with the explanation that German artist experimenting with bright colors under the Nazi Occupation.were labeled "degenerate." Can you imagine?



 This next group of pictures came from a still life we set up from objects around the house. 


Josiah kept threatening to eat the orange.




 These are my favorite projects we did. In fact, they are in the process of being framed and hung in my bedroom. 




We moved ahead a little bit to work with oil pastels. I love oil pastels. They feel so smooth. 

This little challenge had us using different kinds of strokes to create texture on the page. 


Josiah had a bit more difficulty with this. He seemed to only to have one "note."

He worried about staying in the lines. I think that this will be a good exercise for him to continue. It will help work on his control.


 This was a lesson on how to draw in broken color using the oil pastels. 

If you squint really hard it almost looks like art.





 You can see that we really had a good time with Middle School 6-8, Book 2:  Color and Composition   My mom teaches art to Seniors in a nursing home and she is interested in looking at it for her classes. It's appeal goes beyond Middle School!  It is such a well done curriculum. Check it out! 

You can read more reviews of this product (and more!) by clicking on the banner below. 










ARTistic Pursuits Review

1 comment:

  1. You made this program look like so much fun and all of your projects turned out so well! I'm going to look at getting some pastels and this book for my middle schooler.

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