Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TOS Review: Artistic Pursuits

If you ask Mustang what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you an Artist Spy.  When you ask further, she will tell you that she wants to be a Spy (like Sarah on Chuck) and that she is already an Artist.  She's right.  Ever since she could hold a crayon, Mustang has been creating art everywhere.  My grandfather is an amazing painter, my cousin works for the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and her aunt majored in Art and works at the local art museum.  To say the least, there are many artists in our family.  I am NOT one of them!  This left me avoiding the subject of art in our lessons, and Mustang quite disappointed.

With that in mind, when I was asked if we wanted to review an art program, I jumped at the chance.  I really had no previous knowledge of Artistic Pursuits, it was simply an art program and I was interested!

We received Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book 1.  Along with it, an art materials list.  I headed off to Hobby Lobby with all 4 kids in tow to buy the materials.  Let me say, that isn't the way to do it.  Artistic Pursuits offers the products on their website, either as a package or individually.  I certainly recommend buying from the website if you are art illiterate like I am!  Somehow, we were victorious in the supplies buying, and we headed home to create art.

I opened the book the first lesson and was initially disappointed.  There wasnt a step-by-step how to tutorial that I was expecting.  Instead, I was staring at a picture that I remembered from my art appreciation class.  I sighed and decided to move forward as I had promised Mustang,  Turns out, the things I initially didn't like ended up being why I enjoyed the lesson!!

Each lesson contains three parts.  In the first part, the student explores what an artist does, what an artist sees, or ancient art.  The second part, they are shown an example of art, and the third part, they are to create their own art.  

In lesson one, we looked over a picture painted by Pieter De Hooch called The Courtyard of a House in Delft, from 1658.  We discussed the details of the painting and how it depicted daily life in 1658.  I LOVED that it was an art lesson, history lesson, and culture lesson all in one!  The painting is really neat, too.

When it was time to create art, there wasnt a step by step on how to draw a cat.  There were no directions on how the picture should look at the end.  There was no right or wrong answer!!  The lesson presented an art material-the Ebony pencil.  Explanation was given on how the Ebony pencil is used and how to create art using it.  Then, we were set loose with our paper and pencils.  It was suggested that we drew something we saw everyday, just as Pieter De Hooch had done.

So, we set to work with our pencils.  Yes, I said WE.  I am taking these lessons right along with Mustang because I think I need it more then her!  I know over the years that she will want to tell me about her hobby, and I want to know what she is talking about!

Mustang drew the rooms in the upstairs of our house-complete with our storeroom, as the squares in the bottom right corner are depicting.

I drew the things Mustang uses to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

This lesson, Artists Compose, is available free on the ARTistic Pursuits website.  You can try it out with your students.

My favorite lesson so far is lesson 2.  We were introduced to watercolor crayons!  I'd never heard of them before, but let me tell you I am LOVING them!!  Why didn't my teachers let me use them in school???  Mustang loved them, too.  As soon as she created her masterpiece, she asked if she could make another.

Here she is working hard to create a painting of her room.  She is dressed up as a princess.  I thought for sure I had a finished product picture, but I cant find it!

Here's mine.  Mustang gave me a tutorial on how to draw people.  She told me she learned from her OTHER aunt (my brother's wife).  

So did we like ARTist Pursuits?  Um, nope, we LOVED IT!!  Seriously!  I love that ARTistic Pursuits teaches Mustang (and me, lol) ABOUT art.  It helps an artist create art, not by giving them a draw a circle, draw a line, put a square next to the circle instructions, but by inspiring them to create what they see and what they imagine.  The best part, is that it introduces the various art mediums.  There are many, many, mediums with which to create art, but unless you get a chance to try them, you wont know if you like them. I love that at only 6 years old, Mustang is getting to try things I myself have never tried.  It should really help her to begin creating the art that she is capable of.

ARTistic Pursuits currently offers 10 different books for levels Preschool through High School, and are each priced currently at $42.95.  You can see the entire list on their website, as well as view sample lessons from each book.  The price is very affordable if you take into account that it can be used over and over again.  I plan to use ARTistic Pursuits with each of my 4 children, so it is worth the money to me.

I would highly recommend ARTistic Pursuits to anyone wanting to learn about art with their children (or even just themselves!).  But, if you would like to read more reviews before making a purchase, check out the TOS Review Crew Blog.  

Merry Christmas and God Bless!!

This is a review for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Thank you to Artistic Pursuits for providing my family with a complementary copy of K-3 Book 1 for the purpose of review.  All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

1 comment:

Mozi Esmé said...

Love that you did it with your daughter! I wanted to, but I knew my daughter would be too distracted if I did... :)