Friday, April 17, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits ~ High School Color and Composition, Book Two

I had the privilege of reviewing ARTistic Pursuits High School 9-12 Book 2 Color and Composition by ARTistic Pursuits. ARTistic Pursuits is a unique art curriculum that helps parents provide quality art education for their children. ARTistic Pursuits have been serving the homeschool community since 1999.

ARTistic Pursuits High School 9-12 Book 2, Color and Composition was written by Brenda Ellis. The spiral bound book contains sixteen units with each unit containing four lessons.

Topics discussed are:
  • hue
  • value
  • balance
  • rhythm 
  • intensity
  • shading
  • lines and texture
Each book gives a list of the art supplies needed to complete each lesson. Watercolors are the primary media for this book.

Unit Breakdown:
  • Building a Visual Vocabulary
  • Art Appreciation and Art History
  • Techniques
  • Application
Each lesson gives an in depth description of how to get started:
  • References to help the student succeed
  • Notes to remind the student of what they need to be aware of while completing the lesson
  • Objectives
  • Student gallery example
  • Try this section to encourage your student
For the student that has limited artistic knowledge ARTistic Pursuits breaks the lessons down in a way that he/she will be able to understand. 

Throughout the book are quotes such as:

"The beginning is the most important part of the work."
~ Plato ~
philosopher of ancient Greece

I found this very helpful art history timeline that my daughter
found helpful. She could visually see the progression
of art throughout time.  

The book has wonderful snippets of art history. Through studying art history the student gains appreciation for artists and their works. True appreciation of a work of art comes from understanding the artists intent and the time period in which the art piece was created. 

An example can be found in Thomas Gainsborough's (1727-1788), The Blue Boy. During the Renaissance, the color blue, was thought as a color to be reserved for the distant background in paintings. Gainsborough decided to prove that such old rules were nonsense. By painting with blue, in the forefront, he set out to prove that a good painter did not need to follow any rules of art but could manipulate colors to achieve a desired effect. Knowing the time period, and the reason behind the painting of The Blue Boy, one can have greater appreciation for Gainsborough's artwork. 

Using ARTistic Pursuits
My 9th grade daughter worked on various lessons throughout the book. Several years ago, we realized that our daughter had significant artistic ability. At the time we had no idea how to cultivate this talent. We tried a semester of art through a homeschool co-op and my daughter was not impressed. For the past year she has been helping out at an art studio in exchange for private art lesson. This, of course, helps but it is not enough. For the most part, my daughter has had to learn techniques and the various art mediums on her own. She was very excited when given the chance to use this book. We have looked for homeschool art curriculums before but have never found anything that really gave her the tools needed to further cultivate her talent. I was anxious to see what she would be able to create with the help of this book.
My daughter used pieces of fruit to create this watercolor picture . 
She utilized shading to give the picture a more real feel. Shading 
gives the picture dimension.

In this watercolor picture of trees, my daughter followed the steps
of creating rhythm. Rhythm gives the picture a feel of the trees being 
at various distances.

My daughter actually used pencil to create this still life of a bell pepper.
She used shading to give dimension and color variations where the light shone
on the pepper.

My daughter used acrylic paint to create this positional placement picture.
The two flowers give the picture balance. The color variations give the flowers
dimension. In the background she utilized opposing colors to bring greater 
definition to the painting.

My daughter learned a great deal of information from studying this book. The detailed instruction and explanations helped further her current knowledge of various techniques.

Throughout the book there are snippets of information on various artists. An example is:

The Artist:

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
French Impressionist Painter

"Renoir frequently painted his wife, children, and friends.
Interested in reich color effects, he developed the 
Impressionistic style along with his friends,
also Impressionist painters. 
He painted happy scenes of middle-class life.
Later in life, suffering from arthritis, 
he had brushes tied to his crippled hands in order to paint."

My Thoughts
I think that this curriculum is put together amazingly well. As a home educator for my children, there are some subjects that I just cannot adequately teach and art is one of them. I am so grateful for curriculums like ARTistic Pursuits that come along side to assist the homeschool parent. This curriculum helps guide and direct the student in obtaining the needed skills and technique for art. Often times, the fine arts get the back seat to the core subjects, leaving a gap and deficit in the fine arts. I most definitely will be purchasing ARTistic Pursuits in the future. I would recommend this curriculum to other homeschoolers and educators searching for help with the arts.

Art is not what you see,
but what you make others see.

To read more reviews click HERE.

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