ARTistic Pursuits High School Gr 9-12 Book One 3rd ed - Elements of Art and Composition

ARTistic Pursuits High School Gr 9-12 Book One 3rd ed - Elements of Art and Composition

# 004844

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Item #: 004844
ISBN: 9781939394088
Grades: 9-12

Product Description:

Publisher Description:

This book provides high school students with an in-depth look at the elements of art and composition through a comprehensive text designed to engage them in the creative process as they produce original drawings using graded pencils and charcoal. High 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 equally engaging for both the novice and the more experienced art student. Students learn how to see the world like an artist as they are introduced to topics such as space, line, texture, and value. Each unit is crafted for focus on one art element while exploring the topic in four unique ways.

Students explore their world in engaging studies designed to strengthen observation skills as they learn about the creative process. The student gains insight about artists and movements in Western art. Art appreciation lessons show how each element is used through the study of art from European masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Durer, Raphael, Tintoretto, and more. Technique and application pages allow skills to develop naturally, as the student works independently. The unique feature of the book is the way students learn from its pages, choose a subject to draw from their own environment, and then easily apply the new information to their own art. Four special assignments show how artists combine elements of art and broaden the student’s experiences with art materials. The book provides content for a full credit with the completion of sixty-eight finished drawings in pencil and charcoal media that are both original and entirely the student’s own. Upon completing the course, students will be prepared for a college art-related course with a thorough knowledge of the foundational principles of art.

Media Introduced:

  • drawing pencils,
  • vine charcoal
  • and compressed charcoal.

Category Description for ARTistic Pursuits High School Book 1:

Category Description for ARTistic Pursuits:

Once in a great while you will come across an art program that is so easy-to-use, open-ended, and brimming with all sorts of exciting possibilities that you just want to use it yourself. This was certainly the case with ARTistic Pursuits when I first reviewed it. The basic philosophy of ARTistic Pursuits is to combine what it defines as the four essential areas, or categories, of art into a short, easily manageable and flexible lesson. The first category is Elements of Art, or "what art is made of" which include what we would think of as the basics of the actual drawing (line, shape, color, etc.). The next is Composition, or "how art is arranged" (balance, proportion, space), third is Media (variation), and finally, History (becoming familiar with different artists, styles, and periods). This seems like a lot to cover in one program, but ARTistic Pursuits does it surprisingly well and very naturally. The early elementary (K-3) level covers these same four areas in each lesson, but in a less in-depth and more informal manner. Each volume features 36 lessons and the Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School and old edition of Elementary volumes are comb-bound to lay flat.

Upper elementary, middle school and high school levels of ARTistic Pursuits are divided into two books each. The first book focuses on drawing including line, texture, form, shape, value, etc., while the second book focuses on color (tinting, shading, mixing, etc.). As an example, let’s look at the high school program. In the drawing portion of the program, the book begins with a lesson on observation and imagination, challenging art students to “see creatively”. This starts them off on the right foot for drawing scenes and objects which they will be doing extensively. From there it moves into line, texture, shape, form, value, and contrast, covering each of the basic “Elements of Art.” The other half is devoted to the elements of composition, including balance, rhythm, depth, and proportion (learning much of this in the context of the human face, figure, and clothing). The materials needed for the drawing portion are relatively few; pencils, charcoal, erasers, and drawing paper. Book 2 dips into color, tinting, shading, complementing, and mixing and also implements composition, in the context of emphasizing size, value, color, etc., and adds watercolors to the list of supplies.

The K-3 level is made up of three books, which together provide students a chronological overview of art history along with art lessons. Book One teaches young students what artists do, what they see, and how to interpret these in light of ancient to medieval art, including cave paintings, palaces, pyramids and cathedrals. Book Two guides young artists through the Gothic, Renaissance and Romantic Periods. Book Three continues the journey, covering Impressionism and Modernism (both European and American) through painting and sculpture. As the following volumes are a continuation of the first volume, I would recommend that users begin with the first volume, particularly as it explains a lot of basic art concepts that are not revisited in much detail once you hit the appreciation lessons.

The lessons are structured similarly throughout the program, although progression through concepts is slower and more bite-sized at lower levels. The first portion introduces the concept, gives a short discussion on its importance, and offers an introductory activity for the student to start thinking about it. The next section is based on a reproduction of a masterpiece that demonstrates the concept being learned. This gives students the chance to simultaneously learn the concept and see how the great artists used the same elements in their work. The other half of the unit is where the “how-to” is brought in. For example, in the high school unit on form, the how-to part of the lesson concentrates on using a light source to produce the desired effect in a three-dimensional drawing, using a simple snowman to illustrate the effects under various light sources. The student is challenged to find a simple object to study (and draw) under different lighting situations. Finally, we reach the last part of the unit, culminating in a project. Brief but clear instructions are given, along with a list of needed materials, and a few hints; and then you’re on your own. Pick up that pencil and cut loose! This open-ended approach offers nearly unlimited room for creativity on the part of the student, as far as what to draw and how. He or she is reminded not only to concentrate on the concept learned, but also to continue to use all the concepts previously learned (this is exemplified by the many examples of student work displayed in these lessons). Projects at the lower levels are more likely to include simpler activities like drawing a picture from a photograph, and also use less complicated (and messy, incidentally) supplies, such as watercolor pencils rather than the pan watercolors used in the Senior High level.

From a teaching standpoint, the lessons are easy to use. You can read the lessons together, or teach from the textual lesson given. The discussion questions are all included in the book, but you are by no means limited to those if you both really get into an artwork or style. Because the art reproductions are included right in the books, you don’t have to search the library or internet for examples to use. The projects are well-thought out with a lot of potential for creativity, and require mostly common arts and crafts supplies. However, because the lessons in each book expose students to a variety of different mediums, you will need to have a variety of art materials on hand, and specifically recommended ones are listed after each level.

While the format is similar throughout the program, the emphasis on specific artists and periods varies. In the high school level, the emphasis is on European artists, including: Da Vinci, Raphael, Toulouse-Latrec, Monet, Renior, Picasso, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Constable. The middle school level focuses on World Art, while the Grades 4-5 level examines American Art. Grades K-3 cover art history from ancient to modern. I would suggest using the levels in the titles below as a general guideline. Young students (upper elementary) who are very artistic and already fairly skilled will likely get more out of the middle school level than the Grades 4-5 Level. Regardless of the level you choose, you will want to start with the first book to lay the foundation of art basics before you jump into more advanced concepts.

All in all, this is a flexible, user-friendly program which seamlessly blends art history, art technique and exposure to different media. At the same time, it keeps the subject understandable for beginning artists and more experienced ones alike. Though the format is fairly simple, it will spark excitement and creativity through each lesson, especially as the student progresses and surprises even herself with her new skills. I’m confident that any student interested in art at all will enjoy the variety, the use of different mediums, and the practical art appreciation, and the open-ended projects.

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Brenda Ellis
Comb Bound Book
Brand Name
Artistic Pursuits
1.35 (lbs.)
11.0" x 9.0" x 0.75"
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Why did you choose this?
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daughter is a freshman taking art. this specific program was recommended. She is excited for the class
Shawna T on Aug 18, 2022
Needed for coop.
Sandro M on Aug 17, 2022
daughter is a freshman taking art. this specific program was recommended. She is excited for the class
Shawna T on Aug 18, 2022
We liked the middle School Artistic Pursuits curriculum and wanted to continue into high school
Lauren M on Aug 18, 2022
Needed for coop.
Sandro M on Aug 17, 2022
I chose this because it seems like a manageable step by step way to teach art and art appreciation for the necessary fine arts credit.
Kay D on May 10, 2022
We have not tried it yet but my daughter wanted just pencil and charcoal drawing lessons and this seems to fit what she wanted.
Lisa B on Sep 27, 2021
It came highly recommended by Cathy Duffy. Purchased for my high school child's art curriculum.
Michele G. on Sep 19, 2021
This looked like something my daughter might enjoy doing this year. The quality looks good. We'll see how she likes it!
Krista N on Aug 16, 2021
I've heard so many good things about this program through the years.
Karis W on Aug 14, 2021
We have tried many art books, but this has been the favorite.
Alison R on Jul 1, 2021
Only have to use one book for entire year
Janeen J on Jun 14, 2021
It looked like a good comprehensive drawing class that would be doable for my son who is not a huge fan of Art and needs a Fine Arts credit. I think that it may actually also cause him to develop skills and maybe even enjoy art a bit. The layout is also very good.
Ashley G on May 14, 2021
I learned about it from Cathy Duffy's reviews, and the more I looked at the product descriptions, including information at the publishers website, the more I was convinced it was a good product for my blossoming artist daughter.
Ruth B on Oct 5, 2020
Part of our co-op program.
Nathan P on Sep 1, 2020
coop is using it
Holly M on Jul 20, 2020
JOYDACE r on Jul 20, 2020
The company was referred by other homeschoolers and I thought the book would be thorough
Kathryn V on Jul 16, 2020
homeschool art elective
Rachel N on Sep 3, 2019
Comprehensive, challenging, and sensitive to the audience
User on Jul 5, 2019
Looking for a high art curriculum that can be shared by several students.
Trina C on Jan 27, 2019
This is the best home-based art curriculum that I could locate based on my research, and RR had a competitive price and offered free shipping.
Blake M on Jan 8, 2019
Looking for a thorough art text. Looked like it met my needs and the other reviews sounded very positive
Tamara G on Sep 12, 2018
Good recommendations.
Gaynor L on Aug 3, 2018
Felt this was going to be the best optioin for our daughter after researching other options.
Angia G on Jun 17, 2018
Using this curr. for high school credit. I hope that it is well rounded and can hold the interested of my Manga drawing student who is interested in "branching out."
User on Jun 5, 2018
I am teaching an Art Appreciation class, and this seems like a good overview.
Melanie B on Mar 26, 2018
My 9th grader enjoys art, so I wanted a curriculum that would teach the basics first, but also let him enjoy getting to draw.
Mylinda W on Aug 28, 2017
potential art program for next year - want to see the book
Tara G on May 4, 2017
Contents page looked good
Carol C on Feb 24, 2017
"Artistic Pursuits combines history with art skills. This program inclusive of the many skills used in art! I found this program to be excellent for our kids."
Anna M on Feb 11, 2017
My daughter is homeschooled and these books are a wonderful resource for guiding us through the most basic, and sometimes intricate, elements of art and their uses. Also, these include ideas for projects, study of artists, and explanations of techniques. I highly recommend these!
Margret L on Jan 11, 2017
Purchased for 9th grade student for art credit. This is one of Cathy Duffy's top picks.
Kristy T on Aug 18, 2016
We have used Artistic Pursuits materials for several years. My children and I love them. When they finished the last one they were asking me to order this next one. We are actually using both the upper level books simultaneously. While they enjoy watercolor, they would rather not do it all week so we are alternating lessons from each of the books.
User on Jan 28, 2016
required for homeschool co-op
Molly C on Dec 27, 2015
We liked the middle School Artistic Pursuits curriculum and wanted to continue into high school
Lauren M on Aug 18, 2022
I chose this because it seems like a manageable step by step way to teach art and art appreciation for the necessary fine arts credit.
Kay D on May 10, 2022
4.3 / 5.0
3 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Lessons are great!
August 27, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 3 out of 5
This book is okay if you already know something about art. There's usually less than a page of information for each assignment, not a lot of detail or guidance. On the other hand, there is a lot of opportunity for practice, so you don't spend all your art lesson with instruction. You can get right to the actual drawing. It seems a bit elementary for a high school curriculum, though.
September 16, 2019
over 3 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Thank You
Thank You!!!!!!!!!!
July 15, 2018
over 6 years ago

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