Wednesday, April 14

Artistic Pursuits in High School {Review}

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Want to teach art, but aren't really sure what should be included or where to start?  We recently had the chance to check out the upper grades courses from Artistic Pursuits, and really loved them!  

Artistic Pursuits has two choices in the Beginner Level Art Core Classes - Drawing with Graphite Pencils and Painting with Watercolor Pencils.  We specifically used the Painting with Watercolor Pencils course.  It comes in both online and physical format, with both book and video components, and is appropriate for fourth grade through adult.

What's Included?
The online course includes a flip book - it's an exact copy of the hardcover, but online - with an interactive Table of Contents that makes getting to the day's lesson a breeze!  Online videos are streamed, and you get two years of access to the course.  (It is a one-semester course, so you have plenty of time to complete it.)  The physical format comes with a beautiful, slim-line hardcover book that has three DVD slots built right into it so that you can easily keep the entire course together.  (Two are regular DVDs; one is a blu-ray.)  As it is a non-consumable course, you can use it over again with each of your students.

The course is divided into nine units, with four lessons per unit, for a total of thirty-six lessons.  A good pace for completing the course is to do two lessons per week.  Some activities will take an hour or more, while others will not take as long.  Our experience was that the deeper we got into the class, the longer the projects took.  For the student who wants a full-year credit of art instruction, completing both the graphite pencils and watercolor pencils classes would fulfill that requirement.

Peek Inside

The painting lessons begin by learning how to use watercolor pencils for painting, as well as various special visual techniques.  Then we begin looking at color theory through both text and visual aids.  Some of this may seem elementary to an upper grades student, but it's always a good idea to review the foundational basics before moving into more complicated theory.  With each lesson, there are practice activities and suggested projects for putting concepts into action.  There is also an element of Art History included in the course, as students learn about these concepts in the context of being used by Master Artists through history.

You can peek into the textbook yourself here!


We jumped around through various projects in the book, as I allowed the boys to first choose the ones that caught their eye.  They have actually used watercolor pencils many times with their everyday curriculum, so I was less concerned about focusing on the basics first.  HOWEVER.  If you've never used watercolor pencils to paint before, you'd definitely want to hit these first lessons first and cover those techniques!  One of them was fascinated by these chickens (he's my little chicken rancher), while the other was drawn to the tropical landscape with the history on Winslow Homer.

After search for quite some time, it was unanimously agreed that our favorite project was the cupcakes.  We decided that this was the project we would do our absolute 110% very best on to show off our art for this review.  (We're totally not artists....but following along with the video made us look like it!)  This particular lesson focuses on line theory.  Through the project, we learned about how lines accentuate a piece and bring out the depth, making it more life-like.  And, to be completely honest, after spending a morning drawing cupcakes...we were forced to bake some.  Unit study in action, am-I-right?  😊🧁

See what others are saying about Artistic Pursuits at the Homeschool Review Crew!
ARTistic Pursuits Drawing, Painting & K-3 Vol. 1 to K-3 Vol. 8 Reviews

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