Do you enjoy teaching art? Are you a natural when it comes to light, space, and composition? Well, I’m not, but I believe art is a necessary part of my kids instruction (plus, my boys need a credit in art for graduation). So, I am thankful that for this review, we got to check out High School 9-12 Book 1, The Elements of Art and Composition from ARTistic Pursuits. It allows me to incorporate real art instruction into our curriculum, despite the fact that I am artistically challenged!
This book is intended for students in high school, or ages 14 and up. It is part of the full curriculum that ARTistic Pursuits offers for students of all ages. In the Senior High Book 1 students explore Western Art and learn about artists like Raphael and Da Vinci. Most of the artwork is completed using pencils and charcoal. I was able to find an inexpensive art kit at Walmart that had everything I needed for my son to complete the projects.
Lessons in this book are written directly to the student, making it particularly easy for parents. Now, I did read through the first few lessons ahead of time before turning the book over to my son, just so I could see what was expected of him. Each lesson covers a particular artistic technique or element (like balance, contrast, proportion etc.) and encourages students to explore that element.
Lessons begin with an introduction to the concept and a thorough explanation of how it works. At the end of the intro is an assignment that encourages students to try their hand at recreating it. From there, students are shown artwork that is a good example of the concept, and then given background info about the period in history the art comes from. This is a great area for parents to jump off and study particular artists/artistic movements in depth. You could easily use the information provided and books from the library to expand on these topics.
Over the course of two semesters, students will cover a wide range of topics, and there is a second book for high school that brings color into the mix. I used this with my son who has an artistic bent as it is. He told me that while he enjoyed reading about the concepts and the art in history, he struggled with getting his art to look like the art in the book. The authors do include images of student artwork throughout, but my son didn’t feel like his matched up. He told me that to him, art was more about drawing what he FELT like drawing, not what he was told to draw.
While I can certainly understand that, I think there is a lot of value in learning the actual terms and techniques related to art in general. I feel like the curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits does a really good job of making art instruction accessible for the average homeschool parent. If you are good at art and love teaching it, you could certainly use this curriculum to take your instruction to the next level, but if, like me, you are not a natural artist, you can still use this to give your kids a solid grounding in art technique.
To learn more about this curriculum, connect with ARTistic Pursuits on social media:
To see what other members of the crew thought of this and all the other curriculums we got to check out, click here: