Monday, June 11, 2018

A Review of Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc.

Little Miss has been really interested in learning about art lately.  We have tried several different programs, but many of them just assume that she knows the basics already and start by drawing complicated things that frustrate her.  This is why I was interested in receiving Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary which is part of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. to review.
 ARTistic Pursuits, A Glimpse of Normal
ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. has created a homeschool art program that teaches children to create art while developing their observation skills.  Their program helps students use their critical thinking skills while they learn about creativity, art history, art appreciation, and various techniques to create real art using real materials and tools.  The lessons allow the student to make choices about what and how they will draw so that their work is truly their own and they are creating one-of-a kind creations.  This company offers programs for students in grades K-12.
We received Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary to review which is part of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray line of books.  There are currently 6 books in this entire set which covers multiple subjects for young students.  They are in the process of getting 2 more books ready for this set.  The Art for Children book that we received features 18 lessons, a materials list, a "Teaching Simply" page, a list of objectives for each lesson, a shapes template, and both a DVD and  Blu-ray version of the 6 video lessons.  The book is designed so that it is easy to teach your student art even if you are not an artist yourself.  Each lesson tells you what materials your student will need for the project.  It also has prep notes for the teacher which give you an idea of what will happen in the next lesson so that you can be prepared for any discussions that will take place.  The prep notes also give ideas of how you can use the lessons in larger settings with multiple children.  Some of the lessons have a video to watch that explain the technique and supplies being used along with showing the appropriate drawing methods.  The lessons consist of reading about a topic with your child and then discussing the questions presented in the reading.  Each lesson also has a specific famous portrait for your child to study along with questions to answer about the painting.  These exercises are designed to build your child's awareness of art while using their critical thinking to determine what is happening in the painting.  Then students get a chance to compose their own work of art based on a recent experience. They are encouraged to put in specific details based on the lesson and painting they read.  Each lesson takes only 10-15 minutes to teach and then whatever amount of time it takes your student to draw their picture.  Of course the video lessons vary on their amount of time, but they are fun to watch along with your child.  The specific goal of this book is to have your child start understanding art vocabulary not just the written vocabulary, but being able to discuss what they see visually.  This is why the learn about the art concepts of composing, imagining, colors, observing, shapes, folds, forms, texture, oil pastels, landscapes, still life, animals, figures, watercolor crayons, portraits, cutting, communication, and drawing shapes.  This book is designed specifically for use with students in grades K-3, but can be used for older students too.  It is available for $39.99.
This was a lesson on blending colors.  Little Miss had fun on it.
Little Miss was a little upset with me when we first got this book in to review because she is not in grades K-3.  Then I explained that even though this book is designed for younger students, she could use it too because it will teach her the basic terms, techniques, and things to look for so that she can build her art skills.  We started with lesson one which was a video lesson so that Little Miss could see that these lessons are not just for younger grades.  The video was very well done.  It was easy to follow, fun to watch, and the host, Ariel, did a great job of showing what students were supposed to do.  Little Miss saw that anyone can learn from these lessons and it made her want to work through more of the book.  Since she is older I encouraged her to take her time on her drawings and focus on the little, fine details of each picture.  The next time she worked on the lessons I had her read lesson 2 aloud to me.  It discussed how artists compose and she could really relate to this topic because she does play piano and we have talked about composition before.  She also liked looking for the details in the painting, The Courtyard of a House in Delft by Pieter De Hooch.  She thought it was fun to think about what was happening and why the artist painted it the way he did.  She also liked that when it was her turn to compose, the book told her to paint a picture of something she had seen lately.  She chose to make a drawing like the sample one in lesson 2 because she wanted to practice drawing lines and adding depth with lines.  For the other lessons that she has completed, she has skipped around in the book and worked on the ones that caught her attention that day.  The lessons do not seem like they have to be done in order for older students.  Maybe this worked okay for Little Miss because she has worked on some other art before this book.  She has finished 5 of the lessons and is currently working on a 6th lesson.   She has seen how learning the basics presented in this book is helping her build her overall art skills.
She did the lesson on still life and drew her "friends." 
She has been working on her self portrait.  She has been working on getting the eyes right and she is really improving on them.
I like this program for Little Miss.  Even though it is geared towards younger children, it has taught her to be aware of art around her.  She will look for the things she has learned about in the lesson when she is drawing or looking through pictures.  She looks for focal lines, use of color, and she looks for shapes in drawings and pictures that she can use as a base to add detail to.   This book has definitely helped her build her skills.  I appreciate that I have found a resource that teaches Little Miss art because I am not an artist and I have no clue what to look for when I am looking at art.  I am thankful that this book and video series does that for me.  I will have Little Miss continue working on the lessons in this book because I am seeing her use the concepts that she is learning in her every day drawing and art work (she loves to anything to do with creating art so she is always creating something).  You can learn more about the book we received and the others in this series by clicking here.  You can learn about more about all the products that ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. has to offer by checking out their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.  You can also learn more about the books in the series we received by clicking on the banner below to read the reviews of my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew because we were able to review several books from this ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series.
Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

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