We had the opportunity to try a new curriculum from one of our favorite art resources for children. We have used ARTistic Pursuits Inc. for many years in our homeschool. We even reviewed a sculpture title a few years ago, and loved it. This time we were able to review one of their new ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray curriculum sets, Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary. It was the best of both worlds, video instruction along with their classic text instruction. I have some children who do very well with a person showing them in a video format how to create something.
This curriculum came to us in the mail. It is a very sturdy hardback book which includes both a DVD and Blu-Ray. This title that we received is focused on Building a Visual Vocabulary, but all the titles contain classic art pieces that pertain to the lesson and book itself. Throughout this book there are 106 full color illustrations by famous artists, lesson examples, and examples of other children's art that have completed the lesson. My children always like to see what other kids have done, especially if it is done by a child their age.
The first six lessons of this book use an art medium that we've never used before, Watercolor Crayons. We purchased a set to get us started. Most of the other supplies like construction paper, oil pastels, scissors, drawing paper, glue, etc., we already have on hand. The watercolor crayons are a fun new addition to our art supplies. The children really enjoyed using them for the first time. Each book will have its own supply list.
The thing I love about ARTistic Pursuits lessons is the freedom to draw whatever the child desires. The first few lessons consist of the child picking an object or scene that interests them. The lessons focus on opening the child's eyes up to all the objects and pictures around them, and noticing what makes it interesting or what it is composed of. My son picked one of his little figure dinosaurs to recreate.
Even though the figurine dinosaur was just plain yellow, he used his imagination to make it more realistic. In the first few lessons he learned new words like compose, imagine, different kinds of art (dancing, theatre, and music), and he observed pictures and surroundings.
My main student that I had planned to use this curriculum for was my 7 year-old who is now 2nd grade. This is the perfect speed for him. He really enjoyed the lessons, and the videos. He had a little bit of a hard time being patient with the Watercolor crayons, and didn't like putting the water on them. I had to show him a few times the magic of the crayons, and then he got it. My older boy who is 9 (and 5th grade) loved trying them out too. He decided to join us for a lesson, and said he'd like to do all of the lessons with us. He could definitely learn some new things with this book even though it is only K-3. It was easy to tailor it up a little for him.
He decided to recreate a cover of his favorite music CD. He got the technique down really well, and picked it up quickly.