ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Complete Set Volumes 1-8
This kit includes the following items:
- ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Volume 1: Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary
- ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Volume 2: Art of the Ancients
- ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Volume 3: Art of the Middle Ages
- ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Volume 4: Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance
- ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Volume 5: Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism
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. The whole series has been revised for 2013, and each volume now features 36 lessons (previously 32). You'll notice a slight shift in grade levels (books previously
If you have previously been a fan of the ARTistic Pursuits program but felt hesitant about guiding your students through the art projects, you will appreciate this update to the curriculum, which now features video instruction of many of the projects. If you already loved the program and felt comfortable with the art projects, well, you will love the larger, crisper art reproductions, the improved photos and visuals, the lovely hardcover format, and the simplified text. The approach to teaching art is the same, and much of the content is similar when comparing the 3rd edition spiral-bound books to the new 64-page hardcover 2018 editions. Art instruction, art appreciation and art history is effortlessly blended together into a comprehensive art program that stands on its own, or, because of the more topical breakdown of topics, can be easily paired with any study of history that you choose. ARTistic Pursuits author, Brenda Ellis, plans to revise the entire program in the next several years, with the K-3 portion of the revised program available now, and new versions of the upper grade level books released in the next two years.
The 2018 series of ARTistic Pursuits for K-3 features 8 hardcover books in all, each packaged with both a Blu-ray and a DVD disc. Each volume contains 18 lessons (each with projects), designed for one semester. Twelve of the lessons feature masterpieces of art and six of the lessons feature video instruction. Although not every art project is featured on the accompanying DVD, the projects on video have been carefully chosen to introduce teacher and student to a new art medium and show techniques for working with that medium. For example, in Volume 2 the second video is on how to roll a clay slab and then create a human figure from the slab. Subsequent clay projects throughout the rest of the book utilize some of the same techniques that were taught in Lesson 3. If you need to go back to that video and relearn the technique, you can. If not, you are ready to apply the technique to the next project, especially with the helpful full-color photos of the steps of the project found in the book. Some fun additional content is also included on video, such as explanations of art terms or concepts and even visual field trips to places like clay mines (also from Volume 2). Brenda Ellis demonstrates the video projects and explains the steps as she works through them. In most of the video projects, you are looking over her shoulder to watch her hands at work. Brenda is joined by Ariel Holcomb, a fun and enthusiastic host who introduces the artistic concepts or materials at the beginning of each video.
Volume 1 lays the foundation for the K-3 program. Although examples of art masterpieces are included in this course, the emphasis is on learning to understand art and what artists do. Lessons in this volume introduce composition, color, understanding form and shape, drawing shapes, composing and drawing a still life, observation, drawing figures (people and animals), and portraits. Art media introduced includes watercolor crayons and oil pastels. Many of these lessons are similar to the first 21 lessons in the 3rd edition of ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Book One. Volumes 2-8 journey chronologically through art history from Art of the Ancients in Volume 2 to Art in America in Volume 8. Volume 8 features all new lessons and focuses on learning to draw. The