Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
We were very excited to be chosen to take a look at one of the many books from Artistic Pursuits, Inc., which is a company that provides art instruction for preschool all the way up to high school levels.
Due to the age of my three girls, we were able to choose one of their books for Grade K-3. It’s always more fun when all the girls can participate in the same activities. There are eight books in this selection, and we chose Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary.
The other books include:
- Art of the Ancients
- Art of the Middle Ages
- Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance
- Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism
- Art of the Impressionists
- Art of the Modern Age
- Art in America
Therefore if you are studying a particular period in history, you could choose a book that coincides with that time to enhance your studies. However, I wanted to start at the beginning (volume 1) to ensure we had covered the basics with the girls from an artists point of view, and vocabulary they may use.
Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary
Our Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary book, also came with a DVD & Blu-ray. There isn’t a video for each lesson, yet it is clearly labeled at the beginning of each lesson when there is a video to watch, and which video number to play.
Topics covered in this book focused on what artists do, such as:
As well as what they see:
- Still Lifes
A mixture of mediums were used including watercolor crayons, construction paper (for cutting and folding) and oil pastels. There was also a lesson on identifying and mixing colors, and drawing shapes.
At the back of the book there is a list of objectives for each lesson to use as a guideline to get the most out of each lesson without inhibiting a child’s creativity. I should have paid more attention to this.
Each lesson only took me about 15 minutes of my time. I would read the lesson to my children, which would also include a discussion of a fine art picture. Some of the artists included: Pieter De Hooch, Mark Chagall, Vonnoh, Jan Steen, Diego Rivera, Gustav Klimt, Paul Cézanne, Van Gogh and Edgar Degas.
There is a list of the materials you’ll need for all the lessons at the beginning of the book, so it was only a matter of gathering up the art supplies needed for that particular lesson. My children would then watch the video, if required, or get straight down to independent work.
For one of the lessons I did sit with them to make my own bear too. We could have made any animal we wanted, but as I noticed with most of the lessons they preferred to do their own version of what was shown to them, rather than creating something from scratch. However, as their confidence in their art abilities continue to increase I see more creativity emerging from each of them. Therefore, I can see us coming back to each of these lessons again at a later date, and using the principles given but taking them each a step further.
The girls loved these lessons, and I think it’s wonderful how all family members can be involved if they wish, but it also provides opportunity for lots of independent work. I also liked how the works of famous artists were alongside student examples of ages 5, 6 and 7.
Our focus was for my six year old twins to learn art vocabulary, and build confidence when trying something new, but my eight year old loved the activities too. They did want more videos to watch though.
I really liked the book having quality paper and a hardcover, but it was difficult to stand up so all my children could use it as a reference while they were doing the practical side of the lesson. Other families may not need to use it as a reference book too, but this was something my children wanted, rather than being left totally on their own. Next time, as we repeat some of the lessons they won’t be needing the guide.
As there were several different books reviewed, I highly recommend that you click the banner below to read what other families thought:
I have also found out that Artistic Pursuits Inc. has created a blog with a FREE 16-week summer series of video lessons for beginning drawing students. You can find details here: https://artisticpursuits.mykajabi.com/blog
They also now have an online course for the K-3 level books, which you can find here: https://artisticpursuits.mykajabi.com/store
Here are their social media links too:
Hi there, we’re Micheal & Katherine!
We’re passionate about helping families strive for health and wellness, and living a non-toxic lifestyle. To us this also means homeschooling, choosing joy, exploring, making everyday count, and doing our research. We know it’s not an easy journey, but we’re doing our best and trying to make the right choices for our family.