by Brenda Ellis. Publisher: Artistic Pursuits Inc. Comb-binding, 92 pages, 68 lessons, 184 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-939394-07-1, January 1 2013 3rd Edition
This book provides students with an in-depth look at the color wheel, as it applies to the medium of pastels, through a simply written text designed to engage students in the creative process. Students produce original artworks and are delighted when asked to choose the subject matter for each color pastel work. Middle school students can begin this book without prior knowledge of art and work independently without the need for parental instruction. The organized content and conversational tone is perfectly suited to the age level of the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student. The book offers challenging assignments that are equally engaging for both the novice and the more experienced art student. 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. Within each unit, students focus on one topic in four unique ways.
Students think creatively as they learn to use the color wheel and explore their world in an engaging study designed to strengthen observation skills. Art appreciation lessons show how color is used through the study of master artworks by Caillebotte, Gauguin, Degas, and others. Students gain insight by looking at art from countries around the world including many pastel works by European Impressionists, plus works from Mexico, Celtic tribes, and more. Techniques such as blending, hatching, frottage, and working on colored paper are covered in units that examine topics like primary and secondary color use, neutral colors, analogous colors, as well as compositional topics of rhythm, points of view, and emphasis. Four special assignments show how elements combine when using pastels. Technique and application pages allow skills to develop naturally as students work independently. The book provides lessons for the completion of sixty-eight colored pastel drawings that are original and entirely the student’s own.
Unit 12, Lesson 1: Each unit explores color theory or a compositional arrangement in four different ways. A definition of the terms are introduced in each unit in both words and pictures at the top of the page. 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 and color coded to clarify the purpose of the creative assignment and for easy grading using a grading system on page 91 "I loved the way the most important concepts of color are taught with diagrams, pictures, and real artwork from famous artists. There are plenty of visual examples." -TOS Homeschool Mom and Reviewer
Unit 12, Lesson 2: Students see how the topics of the units are used by World masters on the Art Appreciation page. When they see a concept in artists' works, they are more able to use it in their own work. 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. A biography of the master artist is included so that a familiarity with major artists and their works develops. Students learn about cultural similarities and differences and how ideas affect the look of art. Topics include Iranian Manuscript Painting, European and Mexican Painting, Japanese Prints, and more. An assignment follows this two-page art appreciation and art history lesson. "I was so pleased with the classic art pieces chosen to go along with these books. Thank you for creating an art program that includes art history and appreciation with pictures that I am not afraid to let my children peruse on their own."–L. P., Homeschool Mom
Unit 12, Lesson 3: Students learn how to use art materials on the Techniques page. How to use media such as hard pastels and oil pastels and a variety of ways for using each are introduced. Techniques for drawing and exploring certain subject matter are shown. This page introduces ways of creating texture in oil pastel. Students practice with the techniques shown and complete a project. "How does someone like me, who is so artistically challenged, teach art successfully in their homeschool? They use a fantastic art curriculum called ARTistic Pursuits. When I mentioned that we would be receiving the next book in the series, my son literally lit up. He was so excited to continue his studies through this curriculum and to learn color theory and how to use pastels." -B.E. Homeschool Mom
Unit 12, Lesson 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 is given in the right column. Suggestions for what to use as a reference are given in the right column. Once students go through the book they will have used all the references available: photographs, direct observation, their imagination, etc. Students see how others their own age interpreted and successfully used the element of art. A range of skill levels is shown to encourage different approaches to art. Students evaluate the success of the finished work by answering the questions. Parents can use the color-coded stated objective for easy grading on page 91. "I can see my children applying the things they’ve learned through it (the book). We walked through the art museum last week and they were finding compositional things, like motion, within the pictures."-N.G. Homeschool Mom
New feature pages show how the elements of art come together. Techniques for using materials and processes are shown. Students are asked to select a similar subject and use the processes and techniques.
The contents page lists lessons that explore color work in pastels 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: Hard or soft pastels and oil pastels
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