Monday, April 20, 2015

Artist Pursuits {TOS Review}

ARTistic Pursuits Review
We love art and I love Artistic Pursuits we have reviewed two of these books before. Jam was the first one to review and then Captain. We had a great experience with them. This time I gave Boo the chance to choose a topic to learn. She was really excited and chose the Middle School Grade 6-8 Book Two Color and Composition.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

As soon as we knew we had been chosen for the review I went on a little online shopping trip and stocked up on all the supplies we needed for the course.

The first page of the book includes a table of contents and art supply list. Boo was very excited when our box of art supplies arrives and was chomping at the bit ready to begin.

Art Supplies needed (brand recommendations)

1 - Nupastel assorted colors, set of 24 or larger
1- Sakura Cray Pas Junior Artist Oil Pastels, set of 50
1- Pastel paper pad in assorted colors
1- Drawing paper pad (white)
1- Paper stump
1- Kneaded eraser
1- Vinyl eraser
1- sharpener
1- Natural Chamois 4x4

Additional Supplies (you might already have these at home)

Aerosol Hairspray (used as fixative for pastels)
Masking Tape
Cotton Ball
Drawing Board (optional - we didn't buy this)

This first page is written to parents, explaining roughly how the book is scheduled.

The book is divided into 16 units, each unit being divided into 4 lessons each with an assignment with the final project being given in the last lesson.

Lesson 1 - Building a Visual Vocabulary
Lesson 2 - Art Appreciation and Art History
Lesson 3 - Techniques
Lesson 4 - Application

It is recommended to do two classes per week lasting about an hour each time. If you worked to this schedule it would be a full 36 week course.

Boo worked through her assignments completely independently. I never had to remind her to work from this book. In fact a lot of the time she would wait till the rest of her work had been completed so and did this in her free time. Jam sometimes worked with her too. Captain loved it when Boo draws. He normally follows her example and gets out his art supplies. He would LOVE to use the new pastels I ordered to go with the book, but Boo has a really tight reign on them and won't share.

Boo had heard about the color wheel and understood the concepts of mixing colors to make new colors but she really enjoyed learning about the rules, each chapter introduces something new and lets you practice it. Each chapter builds on the one before.

One thing we both learned was that there are more than one type of pastel. I knew we had some before we started this book. However, until I started ordering supplies I didn't realize that there were hard pastels and oil pastels. However a pastel is pure pigment. Hard pastels look like chalk and oil pastels are water resistant.

The first assignment that Boo completed was to take a one-hour vacation and draw what she saw using hard pastels.


Boo has really enjoyed each lesson she has done. This is definitely something she will continue and I am sure that Jam will use the book too after she has done. This is a great project for summer school if you find it hard to fit art in twice a week, why not do an intense summer course and complete the lessons in a shorter time frame.

I love that thinking about art is something that also encourages relaxation and focus. Boo has dealt with a few changes these last few months. Things that are outside our control and having this art book to help her purposely find quiet focused time has been really good for her and helped her deal with these changes. (Nothing major - don't worry - just important to a 12 year old).

Boo sometimes gets a little frustrated that she can't draw perfectly - She is a little of a perfectionist and it's good for her to learn to accept her best efforts.


There are so many books being reviewed by the crew this time. You really need to check them out. Click on the link below to see what others have been using.

ARTistic Pursuits Review


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