Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits: Early Elementary K-3, Book 3: Modern Painting and Sculpture

This Spring I was delighted to receive a new (to me) ARTistic Pursuits manual to use for review with my youngest. I have previously reviewed various manuals in 2009 (Early Elementary Book 2 and Junior High Book 1), 2014 ( Sculpture Technique: Model) with my older two,  and you can check out those reviews for some of my general impressions about ARTistic Pursuits. However, this is the first time I'm reviewing a manual with my youngest, and I'll be focusing more on the specifics of this manual and how we used it.

Because I am already fairly comfortable with some of the Renaissance and Impressionist artists, I chose to review Early Elementary K-3, Book 3: Modern Painting and Sculpture, to see if it could give me (and my 2nd grader) an appreciation for some of the more modern art... 

This Modern Art manual does include Impressionist art in the first half, and the second half covers Modern Painting and Sculpture. 

We read through the first couple of lessons, that deal with Art and the Subject ~ showing how artists conveyed information about the subjects they were painting,  and Lines and Solid Shapes. Both of these lessons gave background information on how to properly use gouache (watercolor) paints and paintbrushes. 

We also read through the third lesson in the book which included more gouache paint techniques, and he completed the color wheel project, mixing from the primary colors to create the secondary colors and a variety of browns: We both found the variations of brown to be quite interesting! 

I felt the technique and color lessons were very important topics to cover before moving on to the "Modern" artists and more projects. 

The lessons in the book are typically one to two pages which cover the art concept for the lesson as well as some information and examples from an artist who employed the specific technique, as well as art study comprehension questions relating to the pictured artwork. Following, is a one page project that employs either a technique or material covered in the lesson. 

We read through a number of the lessons in the Modern Art and Sculpture section, including an introduction to Fauvism, Cubism, and Assemblage, as well as Futurist Views and Abstract Art. From these we chose projects to work on. 

Here are a couple of the projects that we completed: 
Lesson 21: Cubism
Youngest drew and painted a self portrait, which then was to be dismantled into a Picasso-like piece of art. Because he didn't want to cut his portrait, we made a color copy and let him use that for his "Cubism/Picasso" piece. I thought it was interesting that he kept the nose and mouth in the traditional place, framed, and mixed up everything else (somewhat symmetrically, because that's the way he rolls). 

Lesson 25: Abstract Art 
This lesson focused on the art of Wassily Kandinsky, and complimentary colors. You can see a bit of the lesson page as well as the project page, and his finished artwork and materials. This was one of those projects where he did a little bit of his own thing and mixed colors around the outside border, instead of using the oil pastel to delineate color changes. 

Bonus Character Training: A couple of non-art lessons came into play here:
  • Following instructions~ sometimes it's quite alright to go off and do your own thing, but occasionally it is important to follow instructions~ for instance, using pencil to draw the color wheel before trying to paint it~ having pencil guidelines is very useful!
  • Letting go of perfectionism/being persistent~ Youngest often thinks that his first attempt should be perfect, and gets upset when it turns out to need a little work. We had to work on "letting go" of the perfectionism, as well as being willing to attempt something more than once in order to get a result more to his liking. 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
We have been happy with the art instruction in every ARTistic Pursuits manual that we have seen/used, and feel that it is a great option for art education in the homeschool. The manuals are written to the child, and include projects that are interesting, with materials that are fairly easily acquired (indeed, you probably have many of them in your home already). You can see sample instruction pages (Scroll down) on the website. 

If you have absolutely no art supplies in your home (Or a very limited supplies), Brenda Ellis has put together art packs for each book/level, including a canvas bag for storage.

You can visit Brenda Ellis and ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook for more information on the books, as well as general happenings in the homeschool art world, and more. 

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this manual as well as other manuals in every age group from Pre-K to High School.  As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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