Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TOS Review: ARTistic Pursuits

Art is one subject I know nothing about. So, I wasn’t sure where to start when my oldest asked me to find a curriculum or something to help strengthen her drawing ability. Needless to say I was pretty thrilled when shortly thereafter I was asked to review ARTistic Pursuits. I was given a chose as to which book I wanted to review and I chose, Junior High Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition. Junior High Book One covers, “the elements of art and composition with emphasis on World Art! Students learn how to draw and gain understanding of how different ideas affect the look of the art made by cultures around the world.”

Artistic Pursuits was designed by a fellow homeschool mom, Brenda Ellis. It is written directly to the student in an easy to understand format, making the curriculum great for your independent learner. It could be easily taught in a co-op setting, as well.  Curriculum is available for all your students, Preschool - Sr. High.  Simply click on the covers for a sneak peek of what each book has to offer. The books are non-consumable, so you can use them again and again with all your students. 

ARTistic Pursuits is not your typical step-by-step drawing instructional textbook, but rather a “comprehensive art program designed to involve the student in the creative process while developing observational skills.”

The curriculum is designed to cover a full school year (32 weeks), if used twice a week for approximately 1 hour each class. The Junior High Book One is divided into 16 units; 7 covering the elements of art and 9 covering composition.
Each of the 16 units covers the same 4 lessons.
  • Building a Visual Vocabulary
  • Art Appreciation and Art History
  • Techniques
  • Application
Some of the topics your student will explore are space, line, texture, lines in 3 dimensions, rhythm, space with and without depth, proportion and so much more.
Throughout the pages of this textbook your student will enjoy wonderful works of art from professionals, other students, and a cartoon character named Creative Cory. Seeing these works of art enables your student to have a visual idea of what they will be creating.

The first lesson was incredibly simple. They were asked to write their name across their paper, making sure to stretch it so it would reach from end to end. As the lessons progress they increase in difficulty.

Here are a few photos of my daughter’s art work alongside excerpts from the book.

Some of the needed supplies are, drawing pencils, sharpener, vinyl eraser, sketchpad, sandpaper block, aluminum wire, pen or marker pad.  If you do not already have the supplies on hand, you can find them at any local art or craft store. As a convenience to their customers, ARTistic Pursuits offers a bundle package of supplies.

Our thoughts:
Before our book arrived I thought we would be receiving a step-by-step style curriculum, but once we dove into it, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m pleased with how Mrs. Ellis teaches the student to truly see and observe objects around them, rather than just drawing line by line.
My daughter has also enjoyed it so far, but has said, “I wish it gave some step-by-step instruction, because it would make it easier to draw the pictures.” Howvever, I think once we complete the book, she will have a greater appreciation for the ARTistic Pursuits Art Program. I intended to purchase the ARTistic Pursuits Grades 4-6 book one for my 5th grader sometime in the near furture. 

Artistic Pursuits offers a money back GAURANTEE for individual orders. "Should you decide for any reason that you are not satisfied with the book or art supply pack you order, Artistic Pursuits Inc. will refund the cost (shipping not included) when the items are returned in unused condition within 30 days. Simply return the items in the original packaging for safe shipping. This refund applies only to orders purchased directly from Artistic Pursuits Inc. For any concerns about your order simply e-mail . We want you to see our books, and we care about your satisfaction!"

If you would like to read about Mrs. Ellis and her homeschool family, click HERE.

The ARTistic Pursuits curriculum is available for $42.95 each. To purchase this program for your students or as a gift for someone else, go to   

Be sure to check out what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say,

Disclaimer: I’m an independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. I received Junior High Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition for free in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. We did the same book. I showed my daughters art from Unit 3.

    I am stopping by from the Blog Walk.

    I know I am behind, but I am catching up.

    I am already following you.

    Would love a follow back, if you are not already.

    Thanks. Have a great day.


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