Thursday, May 12, 2016

A TOS Review: ARTistic Pursuits...Model!

I’ve been pretty fortunate to review some fantastic projects during my time with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I have been able to share all manner of fun, life changing and sometimes quirky products and curriculum. Some of my favorite reviews have been those I could get my own hands dirty. For example, last year I reviewed a fabulous book from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. that allowed Josiah and I to work with oil and chalk pastels.



Recently, ARTistic Pursuits Inc gave the Crew another round of books for review. This time I asked to review Sculpture Technique Model. This books is all about modeling, putty and pottery. I just knew it was something both my boy and I would enjoy.




If you haven’t ready any of my ARTistic Pursuits reviews before you need to know that this is a curriculum that is geared specifically for home use. It teaches art appreciation, art history and all those wonderful techniques that are in an artist’s wheelhouse.

Sculpture Technique Model is intended for ages 11-18. There are 12 projects that the student can work through, but the techniques taught can be used to the young artists content.

The books is divided into 3 parts or units.

Unit One teaches us how to create mass with putty.

We immediately made a trip to Home Depot and bought ourselves a big ole canister of Durham’s Water Putty. This is some fun stuff! We spent time wondering what else we could create with it!


Unit Two works with clay. Fortunately, I have a niece is a potter herself and there was plenty of the clay needed at our disposal.

Unit Three teaches creating a surface with fiber. We didn’t get to this unit, but it looks fascinating. I’m not sure if it will be Josiah’s speed, so we will see.

As far as the rest of the art supplies go, there is a completed list towards the front of the book. I personally didn’t have to purchase much. I am blessed to have an artist for a mother. I just went to her house and shopped a little.

I did buy some spray paint (more on that in a minute) and lots of masking tape, along with the Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty. I just like typing it. Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty.

How We Used It


Just a little warning up front. These aren’t easy peasy projects. I’m not saying they are impossible, but don’t expect instant satisfaction. I know it an be frustrating for some students. They expect their artwork to look exactly like the art they are shown in the book. 

We worked through that a little bit by changing up some of the assignments. Don't worry. The folks at ARTistic Pursuits love it when you get all artsy on them. 

Let's take the very first unit. The first assignment was fairly simple. We were shown how to make flat sculptures using the water putty.

The example shown to us were these beautiful exotic fish painted with gold leaf. I asked Josiah what he would like to create using the technique and here is what we came up with. 

Josiah decided he would like to make a snake. 


I, too, made a snake. Why not? This will be a good prank in somebody's bed at Cousin Camp.


Josiah made a spider with all sorts of eyes. Kinda spooky, huh.


And my poor turtle. Somewhere he lost a leg. He's been hanging out on our bookshelf for several weeks now so who knows where it went.


These, my friends, are eyebrows. Josiah created them. I think they are especially exciting painted gold.

Speaking of gold. We were encouraging to use gold leaf or gold paint. Since I was going to spare the little bit of gold leaf I could steal  borrow from my Mom's art closet, I decided to go the spray paint route. Which in itself was a good time for Josiah. 

Even as simple as they projects are you can see that you have to account for dry time. We planned a day for sculpting and another day for painting. 

The next projects for Unit 1 are tricky. 




Josiah and I read through the project notes and discussed what he would like to create. 

The book suggests creating a sculpture with a smaller scale. 

This wasn't good enough for Josiah. He wanted to make a Shark's Mouth....complete with teeth and a little bit of blood. 

He basically wanted to create a movie prop. 

Don't ask me. I was hoping for a cupcake or a hummingbird. 

This project took a few weeks. We wadded and manipulated paper into the shapes we wanted and then started wrapping the whole thing in masking tape. 

The next step was to literally coat the whole structure in Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty and let it dry completely. 

After that major undertaking, Josiah painted the whole thing silver. He then took acrylic paint (red, of course) and painted the sharks mouth. 

The last step was hot gluing some foam teeth to the shark's gums. 



The book suggests to make your appendages and whatnot with cardboard and give them the same treatment that you did with the main sculpture.


I decided that we would use foam for obvious reasons. I sure don't want to get my hand caught in that mouth!


This was quite the process, but Josiah had such a good time with it.


We did make some headway into Unit 2 after all that. 

The projects in this unit involved working with air-dry clay. 


This technique that literally pinches little pots into existence is really a lot of fun. This is my weak attempt at copying the sculpture above. Mine is obviously thumbing for a ride. Gotta get out of here!



Pinching the pots is also good fine motor therapy. All of that finer work is hard for Josiah, but the clay is forgiving. 

We also wound up with a wee little cup and saucer and a bowl. I think it would be fun to make a whole bunch of these.


The last little thing I want to show you is a tiny sculpture out of the same air-dry clay. You can see from the above pictures that we didn't quite get to painting those sculptures yet. They take several days to dry and that will be a project for our next art day. 

This is a little owl made with the same clay. We did use a tooth pick to create the texture for his wings and stuck a couple of tiny beads on for eyes while the clay was still wet. The paint does go on fairly easily with this kind of clay. The book does a really good job instructing how to paint with these acrylic paints. The possibilities are endless. 


The last Unit of the book we didn't get to. It looks really cool and might be something I put my hand to. 

You can see that this is a fun, fun book to go through. I felt that the explanations were easy to follow (at least while I worked with Josiah) and we were able to take those techniques and make them our own. 

I always recommend ARTistic Pursuits for art instruction. I feel that they are thorough and they stretch us. Any of the projects that Josiah has created he can feel proud of. 

You can connect with ARTistic Pursuits via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews. 







ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review


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