by Brenda Ellis. Publisher: Artistic Pursuits Inc. Comb-binding, 92 pages, 68 lessons, 176 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-939394-06-4, January 1, 2013 3rd Edition
This book provides students with an in-depth look at the elements of art and composition in a simply written text designed to engage students in the creative process as they produce original artworks. The organized content and conversational tone is perfectly suited to the age level and is equally engaging for both the novice and the more experienced art student. The middle school student can begin this book without prior knowledge of art and work independently without the need for parental instruction. The unique feature of the book is the way students learn from its pages, then choose a subject from their own environment, and easily apply the new information to their own art. Students think creatively as they are introduced to topics such as line, shape, value, symmetry, perspective, and proportion. Each unit is crafted for focus on one element of art while exploring the topic in four unique ways.
Students explore their world in an engaging study designed to strengthen observation skills. In the art appreciation and history lesson, students learn how each element is used in a Master artwork. They gain insight about the artist, how the goals of a culture affect the look of the artwork, and discover contrasts between Eastern and Western art. Instruction in graded pencil drawing and ink utilizes the knowledge gained through the study of art from countries around the world including Japan, China, Europe, India, Australia and more. Technique and application pages allow skills to develop naturally as students work independently. Four special assignments show how artists combine elements of art and broaden the student’s experiences with art materials. The book provides lessons for the completion of sixty-eight finished drawings in pencil and ink that are both original and entirely the student’s own.
Unit 3, Lesson 1:
In each unit students explore one element of art or a compositional arrangement in four different ways. Definitions of the terms are introduced in both words and pictures. Students get their hands on art materials the first day in a project designed to explore the subject of art and creativity. The objectives of the Be Creative section are listed to clarify the purpose of the creative assignment and for easy grading using a grading system on page 91. “The instruction is phenomenal! We have enrolled the boys in classes taught by art educators in the past and never received the detailed instruction we got from Artistic Pursuits.” TOS Homeschool Mom Reviewer
Unit 3, Lesson 2: Students see how the topic of each unit is used by a World Master on the art appreciation page. When they see a concept in artists' works, they are more able to use it in their own art. Illustrations accompany the work, helping students see what is being discussed in the text.
Students expand their knowledge of world art on the art history page. They learn about cultural similarities and differences and how ideas affect the look of art. Topics include Iranian manuscript painting, Chinese scroll painting, Aboriginal art, Persian rugs, European and Mexican painting, Japanese prints, and more. Throughout this book students find information on either the art of the culture or artist biographies while they gain familiarity with Eastern and Western thought, applying those ideas in the assignments. "ARTistic Pursuits is a sight for my sore eyes as I saw art appreciation incorporated into the lessons. And not just presented as a picture to look at, but integrated in the style of a unit study. What a treasure!" TOS Homeschool Mom Reviewer.
Unit 3, Lesson 3: Students learn how to use a medium such as pencil or pen in a variety of ways. This page introduces two ways of making texture in an animal figure. Students practice with the techniques shown and complete a project. "(My daughter) has been tackling the book solo. She raves about the presentation, and has already begun to improve…In addition; I see her enjoying art more." H.S. Homeschool Mom
Lesson 3, Unit 4: Instructions are given for a final project in which students assimilate the information from the unit and do a work reflecting their interests or particular interpretations. A materials list and suggestions for what to use as a reference are given in the right column. As students go through the book they use all the references available: photographs, direct observation, their imagination, etc. Students see how others of their own age interpreted and successfully used each element of art in the Student Gallery. A range of skill levels is shown to encourage different approaches to art. "(The author) gives guidance for the student who wants a very specific assignment, but leaves room for the student to create their own subject from those guidelines. (My children) enjoyed the opportunity to be invested in their artwork and willingly spent extra time to get their creations just right." -M.K. Homeschool Mom
New feature pages show how the elements of art are used together. Here students see how the values of lines are used to show types of textures.
New feature pages show how the elements of art come together. On this page students see how ink applied with a brush and a pen can be used to show flat areas of value as well as detailed line work. Students are asked to apply these steps to create an original work of art using a subject that they have chosen.
The contents page lists lessons that explore the elements of art and composition in ways that middle school students can identify with and learn from. Take time to browse through the topics covered in this book.
Media Introduced: pencil drawing, black ink applied with pen and brush.
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