Artistic Pursuits is an art curriculum that combines technique with art appreciation. Each book in the K-3rd grade level contains 32 projects and art history lessons. I received book 2 for the purpose of this review and both my dd and I plunged right in when the book came (you can find the list of necessary supplies here)!
Each lesson begins with a short (1-2 pages) art history lesson. In Book 2 sixteen artists are covered and two lessons are devoted to that artist, their time period, and one of their works (for a full sample lesson click here). Following each art history lesson there is a corresponding project for the student to work on and an example of a student’s work (ranging in age from 5 to 11 years old). The projects include watercolor painting, scratch art, papier-mache, oil pastels, tempera paints, printmaking, and rubbings. It doesn’t appear that you have to follow the lessons in order and, in fact, we skipped around as we pleased.
Although I enjoyed the art history lessons, my dd was not that fond of them. I think that she was most interested in doing the art (what child isn’t?) and didn’t particularly care about the life of the artist. On our last project it struck me that I should simply read the art history portion while she was actively engaged in her project.
I absolutely loved the range of projects that is included in this one book. I am certainly one of those people that feel that they have no artistic talent whatsoever and I was worried about my ability to teach my dd. While this program will not give you step-by-step instructions, it did provide the encouragement and guidance that I needed to show my dd how to tackle different media. The majority of the projects we did together, which says quite a bit since I never really enjoyed art.
Overall, we liked this program very much. It is relatively open and go and it made art time so much easier on me. However, I would like to add that you may want a drawing program in conjunction with Artistic Pursuits if you need help cultivating that particular talent.
See what other TOS Homeschool reviewers are saying about Artistic Pursuits here.