Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Learn about 18th-20th Century American Art and Create Your Own Artwork with ARTistic Pursuits!

If you're looking for quality homeschool art lessons that include picture study, too, take a look at ARTistic Pursuits Inc.

My children and I are long time fans of 
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. and have just had an opportunity to review another book from their K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series: Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8. (We previously reviewed 
 Volume 4.)  As we expected, it's another fantastic homeschool art curriculum book!

What is Art in America? 

Art in America is Volume 8 of a grades K-3 art curriculum that comes as a beautiful 64-page, hardcover book with two pockets in the inside front cover to house a DVD and a Blu-Ray disc with video lessons on them.  

The book contains 18 lessons that feature master works in 12 text lessons and 6 video lessons.  It also includes:

  • a recommended list of all materials that you will need for included projects - which is super short: a Prismacolor® colored pencil set, Ebony® pencil, an eraser, a drawing paper pad, a ruler, a compass with pencil, a pencil sharpener, and construction paper  (unlisted, but also helpful, as per a tip in a video is a scrap piece of denim fabric)
  • some words about "Teaching Simply", which this book truly allows parents - even parents without an art background - to do
  • a brief introduction to Art in America and the way American artists have used line and color and those using the book will, too
  • full color samples of art projects 
  • full color student art samples
  • large, full color reproductions of works for picture study.
  • clearly written objectives for each lesson
  • a bibliograpy and art credits for those who would like to dig deeper

Artists featured in the book are:

  • George Bellows
  • John Singleton Copley
  • Arthur Davies
  • Rembrandt Peale
  • John James Audubon
  • Winslow Homer
  • Robert Henri
  • Max Weber
  • John Frederick Peto
  • Charles Demuth
  • Charles Burchfield

Art skills practiced include:

  • making round and straight lines
  • drawing edges of a figure that you look at
  • focusing on where to start and end lines - and what path to take with them - to draw an object you look at
  • using shapes to layout the location of parts of a drawing
  • shading to identify dark areas
  • filling shapes with lines to describe a form
  • using colored pencils
  • using pressure to create light and dark colors
  • identifying and using colors that make other colors standout
  • drawing a figure and shadow
  • using light colors to stand out against dark backgrounds
  • exploring patterns
  • layering colors
  • overlapping within a colored pencil work
  • drawing lighter an darker sides of objects
  • creating abstract art with rulers, compasses, an colors
  • using straight lines to add interest in design to a work of art
  • drawing natural objects working from photographs or real objects

Throughout Art in America, teachers Ariel Holcomb and Brenda Ellis guide children (and parents!) in both text and video lessons to handle art media, study art masters and their artworks from 18th-20th century America, and get creative making original artworks using established graphite and color pencil techniques.

In the video lessons, Ariel Holcomb, an engaging video host, helps draw students into each project, while Brenda Ellis' hands are shown demonstrating techniques and creating art.

Together, the text and video serve as a complete art curriculum which includes:

  • art history
  • picture study
  • colorful illustrations
  • artworks by 18th-20th century American artiste
  • visual instruction for projects - either on the DVD/Blue-Ray discs or with text and images in the book
  • and, best of all, ease and engagement!  

Seriously, I am not art-gifted and this curriculum makes teaching and learning art alongside my children so easy!

How We Used 
Art in America

One reason I appreciated Art in America was because I recently underwent a surgery and was, therefore, needing something that my children could learn from and enjoy equally well on their own, with me, or with Grammy and Grampy. Art in America proved perfect for all this.

I could pack paper, pencils, and the book in an overnight bag for Grammy and Grampy's and have them do lessons there without any extra explanations or materials needed while I was in surgery.  Then, 
I could easily convalesce on the couch watching the video and doing art lessons alongside my children or ask my children to enjoy lessons on their own as I rested.

It was that easy to use the book and DVD!

Picture study, inherent history, art techniques, and creating artworks all happened simply and enjoyably!

For one child, grabbing the book or DVD to review topics and be inspired to create extra artworks did, too!

What My Children Thought

My 13 year old said:
I learned how to use pressure when coloring to make multiple colors.

My 8 year old said:

I like how it told us about shading, and I liked the video teaching. I also liked making the bread and a pear - the straight and round objects.

My 11 year old said:
I liked it!  I was able to make a lot of different art based off the lessons. 

I liked how she taught me not to press hard on drawing paper if you want to put more layers on.  She also taught us how you can use denim to make it so your erasers work better. 

I like this book even more than I thought I would!  It inspired me to do even more than just the projects in it!

So as you can see, all three of my children and I learned from and like Art in America!

Would I Recommend Art in America?

Without question, I would recommend Art in America as a well-balanced all-in-one homeschool art curriculum for anyone looking for beginning instruction in graphite and color pencil techniques and those studying 18th-20th century America. The resource brings art, picture study, techniques, and history together while encouraging students to apply understanding to their own ideas and interests while creating original works of art!

The only caution I would offer is to be careful with the discs.

Since I review Volume 4 of this series there has been no redesign of the way the plastic disc pockets on the inside cover are designed and, so, again, we have found that when we are carrying the book from one place to another, the top disc falls out. Worried that the falling disc would be ruined, we try to make sure, then, to keep the Blu-ray one there since we have no way to play that and wish to keep the DVD disc safe and sound for use!

Doing so is especially important to us as a friend of ours has already been eyeing our copy of Art in America, and asking if we will be pulling ideas from it for future Art-Music-Poetry club meetings. (No doubt we will, just as we have with our Vol. 4 book!)

We love the quality and instruction in the 
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. curricula and continue to use and re-use these resources ourselves and to recommend them to others as stand-alone art curriculum or as excellent, hands-on supplements to history studies!

Learn More

 ARTistic Pursuits

Follow ARTistic Pursuits Inc. on Facebook and on Twitter (@ARTisticPursui1) and Instagram (@artisticpursuitsinc).

Find all the reviews!

You can also 
learn more about all eight volumes in the K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series by reading reviews from 55 Homeschool Review Crew families!

You may also enjoy seeing how we have liked other ARTistic Pursuits Inc. resources:

Create (and Study!) Art Based with Inspiration from the Italian Renaissance! {A Review}

Sculpture Made Easy

One Resource that Will Help You Enjoy Art Anywhere {A Review}

An Open-and-Go Art Curriculum We're Thoroughly Enjoying {A Review}


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