Sunday, December 4, 2011

Don't Know Much About Art? Dive into Artistic Pursuits - TOS Review

Artistic Pursuits
2626 East 109th Avenue
North Glenn, CO  80233
Jr. High level
(PreK-12th grade available) 
Are you clueless about the basics of art?  Do you wish you had a primer to walk you through all those artistic concepts like space, texture, form, value, dimensions, balance, perspective and proportion?  Perhaps you should check out Artistic Pursuits.  As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received a copy of Artistic Pursuits--Junior High Book One--The Elements of Art and Composition by Brenda Ellis to use in order to provide this review.  Take a peek at what we found.

The first part of "Getting Started" contains a Table of Contents, a list of required Art Supplies, What Parents Want to Know and What Students Want to Know.  (The required supplies are minimal and easily found.)

So, what exactly does this book cover?

The Elements of Art
Space, Line, Texture, Shape, Form, Value and Line in 3 Dimensions

Visual Paths in Line, Center of Interest, Balance-Symmetry, Balance-Asymmetry, Rhythm, Space Without Depth, Space With Depth, Perspective and Proportion

Each unit of the book consists of 4 Lessons.  The First Lesson of a unit is all about Building a Visual Vocabulary.  The topic is explained in words and pictures, followed by observation and connection to real-world experiences.  The student then creates a work of art.  The Second Lesson is about Art Appreciation and Art History.  Students learn about how masters use a particular topic in a work of art.  The student then takes their observations and creates a work of art.  The Third Lesson of each unit is about Techniques.  Students learn how to use different materials and tools while making original art.  Finally, the Fourth Lesson of each unit is about Application.  Students get to complete a final project which uses the new techniques and topic information while using a variety of references like still life objects, landscapes, portraits and photographs.

The author suggests doing a couple of classes per week for about an hour each.  Completed this way, the material can be covered over 32 weeks or a full school year.  The book is non-consumable so you can use it again with another student.  Students can work fairly independently with this program. 

Artistic Pursuits has books available for all ages, PreK-12th grade.  To check out more information for this and other Artistic Pursuits books as well as art supply packs click here to visit the website.

My Thoughts:  I like this book.  The basics are covered and described in an easy to understand format.  I like that the book is written to the student and can be used fairly independently.  It's amazing what you're more aware of when you try to see art in everyday things.  My daughter liked the way the book progressed and the topics it covered.  I found myself wishing we had more time to spend with this one.  I'm thinking we'll backtrack and put in more time as we can.  The Culture and Artist parts of the lessons are quite informative and definitely add some interesting background.  It was fun to see many works of art throughout the book too.  This is not a book for someone looking for little art projects to do.  This book will help you and your child to know the finer points of "art".  Having taken an Art Appreciation class at a college level, I am impressed with the method this book presents.  We also found that it was fine to start at this level without having used the earlier level books.  Great job Artistic Pursuits!

**Another great point - If for any reason you are not satisfied with the book or art supply pack you order, Artistic Pursuits Inc. will refund the cost (shipping not included) when your items are returned in unused condition within 30 days.**

If you'd like to see what other TOS Crew members thought of this and other levels of Artistic Pursuits books click here

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the above-mentioned product from Artistic Pursuits in order to provide this review.  As a member of the TOS Review Crew I receive free products such as this one to provide reviews.  I have not and will not receive further compensation.   Observations, comments and opinions presented here are my own.  I am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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