Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Artistic Pursuits Books--TOS Review

We were sent ARTistic Pursuits, Grade 4-6, Book 1: The Elements of Art & Composition for review.

4-6 Graders can learn technical skills while creating original works of art. Book one provides an overview of drawing, covering the elements of art and composition. These books are 'non-consumable' so they can be used for the entire family! I was very pleased to receive this product for review because art always seems to fall to the way-side in our homeschool.  We do seasonal type projects and special things for the holidays but I can safely say we've never had a curriculum for art.  NOW WE DO!  What an awesome and user-friendly (or should I say mom-friendly?) curriculum!  At first glance, I observed that this book gives students their first in-depth look at the elements of art (in an easy-to-understand text)with illustrations in pencil, marker, and scratch art, the media they will be using. The 'elements of art' and composition are explored through American art.

Here's a breakdown of what you will find in this book:

Unit 2, Lesson 1
ILLUSTRATED VOCABULARY: A definition is given in both words and pictures at the top of the page.  OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the 'Explore your World!' section are listed and color coded to clarify the purpose of the creative assignment and for easy grading using a grading system on page 87.

 Unit 2, Lesson 2
ART APPRECIATION PAGE: Students see how the topic of the unit is used in a work by a master artist. When they see a concept in artists' works, they are more able to use it in their own work. Illustrations accompany the work, helping students see what is being discussed in the text. Arrows point to the places in the artwork that are discussed in the text so students can't miss seeing it. 

 ART HISTORY PAGE: Students gain a larger context to view art in as they learn about the artists and the times in which the art was made. 
ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: A biography of the master artist familiarizes students with major artists and their works. Students learn about painters of the American Revolution, the first painters of the Native Americans, Wilderness Explorers, Cowboy Painters, Quakers, miniatures, American Impressionists, Realists, and Regionalists. 
THE TIMES: Students learn about American history. They will see what Americans were doing, thinking, and discovering during the artist's lifetime. 
MAKE AN OBSERVATION DRAWING: Students gain skill in working from observation, memory, or imagination.

Unit 2, Lesson 3
TECHNIQUES PAGE HOW TO: Students learn technical information. How to use a medium such as pencil or pen and a variety of ways for using each medium are introduced. Techniques for drawing and exploring certain subject matter are shown. This page introduces some basic ideas about seeing to help the student begin to observe more closely. 
SOMETHING TO TRY: Students practice with the techniques shown, completing a project.

 Unit 2, Lesson 4
FINAL PROJECT PAGE: Instructions are given for a final project in which students assimilate the information from the unit and do a work reflecting their interests or particular interpretations. 
YOU WILL NEED: A materials list is given in the right column. 
REFER TO THE FOLLOWING WHEN DRAWING: Suggestions for what to use as a reference is given in the right column. Once students go through the book they will have used all the references available: photographs, direct observation, their imagination, etc. 
STUDENT GALLERY: Students see how others their own age interpreted and successfully used the element of art. A range of skill levels is shown to encourage different approaches to art. 
LOOK BACK: Students evaluate the success of the finished work by answering the questions. Parents can use the color-coded stated objective for easy grading.

Media Introduced: Ebony pencil, white pencil, black markers with point and wide tip, scratch art paper and silhouette.

Contents: 1. Space 2. Line and Shape 3. Texture 4. Value 5. Form 6. Form using Value 7. Local Value 8. Contrast 9. The Shapes of Natural Forms 10. Edges 11. Balance 12. Rhythm 13. Overlap 14. Depth 15. Proportion, The Face 16. Movement

4-6 Book One (ISBN 978-0-9815982-4-6), made in the USA, Price: $42.95 

  To see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Artistic Pursuits Books, visit the Homeschool Crew Blog to read more.

**Disclosure: My review and opinion written in this post is entirely my own. This product was provided to me for free in exchange for my review as a member of the 2011-2012 The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew.

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