Artistic Pursuits

Heather —  March 17, 2010

Artistic Pursuits

Summary and Rating 5:  I am really surprised by how much my ninth grader is enjoying this high school art curriculum. I have to say neither of us are gifted as far as drawing or painting–some in our family are, so we know the difference! While we do both enjoy art history and looking at works by Masters and playing around with photoshop…things like that, we avoid drawing. Luckily for my son, this curriculum has him viewing art in a new way and truly attempting to learn to draw!

When I first began reviewing this curriculum, I spoke with the author, Brenda Ellis. I explained that my son had some writing disabilities and that I was very reticent to add an art class, because I was worried it would frustrate him.

artistic pursuitsbookAfter some discussion, she sent us the Senior High Book One, Elements of Art and Composition. As the title implies, this book focuses on the elements of art—Space, line, texture….and also on composition—understanding balance and rhythm, perspective and proportion. The supplies necessary using this particular book are minimal, mainly paper, pencil and charcoal.

Why is this art curriculum working for a ninth grade boy who had little interest in drawing? I have no idea! However, I am thrilled and I suspect what grabs Nick is the format of the course—the lessons are structured to be used by homeschoolers and at this level, he can do this totally independently.

In our home, this has led to him making a time to sit and look over the lessons and then slowly draw, using his newfound knowledge. Each lesson has given him some impetus to go forward, with no pressure from Mom.

Somehow, having some more “head” knowledge about “Art” itself, the techniques, has made him more sure of himself and that shows up in his drawings. He is drawing!

I said I was amazed already, right??  Truly, as I said earlier, we have several people in our family who are considered artists. My Mother even got a degree in art. I however, just could not draw a dog—(and my son agreed I could write this) and my son could not either. I figured, really, that was that. Now, with this instruction, he has drawn several sketches that look like the items.

Wow. Artistic Pursuits had a Bigger Vision for my son as a student than I did. Lesson Learned!!

Wow. Artistic Pursuits had a Bigger Vision for my son as a student than I did. Lesson Learned!!

So I am left quite pleased and impressed with what good teaching can enable someone to do.

And, as we are only in the beginning portions of the course, I am excited to see more progress.

The books can be used again and again, so your 42.95 can go pretty far! While I have only used the high school book, it sounds like the others follow a very similar format. I am planning on getting the grades K-3, and introduction to the Visual Arts book for my youngest daughter.

See the Artistic Pursuits website for more in-depth information about how the courses are scheduled, a listing of all the courses available, explanations of how the lessons are set up at each level and sample lessons. (Poke around and you will find a ton of information on each book). Oh–and look for them at many of the upcoming Homeschool Conventions!

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

The Senior High Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition, was provided to me for the purpose of my review. I have expressed my unbiased opinion on this product.

Heather

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