Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
For art lessons in our homeschool this past month we have been using a brand new course from ARTistic Pursuits called Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils. Our 9th grade daughter has an artistic, creative bent and I was thrilled to get the chance for her to go through these lessons.
What is ARTistic Pursuits?
This is an online course that is also available in a hard-cover book with an accompanying DVD. You can also view the books as a streamed Flip Book that is an exact copy of the hardcover. There is a Table of Contents Tab so you can flip to the exact lesson you are working on, and there are many digital features that make this a terrific tool!
The video lessons are streamed so an internet connection is necessary for these. Purchase of this program gives two-year access to the 18 week course of your choosing. You will need the art materials listed in the corresponding Art Pack. There are introductory videos showing you what you’ll need and what to look for.
The course is divided 9 units, 4 lessons each, giving you a total of 36 lessons. It is recommended to complete 2 lessons per week, for an 18-week course of study.
Each unit is structured in similar fashion. Lesson 1 involves watching a video to get familiar with the materials and techniques. The instructor demonstrates and instructs throughout the video, giving the student a good foundation. Lesson 2 is a lesson in creativity where students are encouraged to create art from their own observations and experiences, not just mimicking the teacher. Lesson 3 is an art appreciation lesson. Here students see how the technique they are using was used by a variety of artists and famous works of art. Lesson 4 combines the previous lessons in that unit to create an original work of art.
ARTistic Pursuits offers a course for younger children called K-3: Volumes 1-8 and 2 courses for older students (to adult!) called Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils and Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils. Because Bekah and I have had a little experience with graphite pencils already and because watercolor is a favorite medium of ours, we chose the watercolor pencil lessons.
How did we use ARTistic Pursuits?
As soon as we gained access to the online video lessons, we jumped right in. The first videos on fundamentals were helpful in getting started. We had not used watercolor pencils much in the past, so following along and using the tips given by the instructor made it fun and interesting as well as preparing us for lessons to come.
Making color samples and swatches was a helpful exercise. I was glad to get experience with our pencils before trying to actually ‘paint’ with them.
What I didn’t realize was how important the book would be. I knew the flip book was available on the website, but I ignored that until we had the hard copy in hand. Then I understood the book and the videos really do go together and are not exclusive or carbon copies of one another. So, my advice is to begin with the introduction videos and then use the book for a guide as you begin this course.
Initially, I let my daughter jump around and try whatever projects peaked her interest, but we now are settling into a good routine in order to complete this course in an orderly fashion. On Tuesdays we work through lessons 1 and 2 of the unit we are currently in, and on Thursday we do lessons 3 and 4.
Our experience has been that the further we get into the class, the longer the lessons are taking. If we don’t complete a lesson in the time we have that day, Bekah will pick up and finish as she has time the next day.
What did we think of ARTistic Pursuits?
We are enjoying ARTistic Pursuits and look forward to completing the watercolor pencils course. It has been fun, but also challenging. Rather than spoon feeding us and watering down the instruction, we are challenged to use our own creativity and ingenuity to create original artwok.
In Unit 6 video, Brenda Ellis tells her students there are two ways to teach art techniques. One way is for student to follow along and mimic exactly what the teacher is doing, drawing what the teacher is drawing. This can lead to disappointment and frustration for the student when their artwork does not look exactly the same as the teacher’s. The second way is for students to watch the teacher’s example and to pick up tips and advice to use in your own artwork in your own way. The lessons in the ARTistic Pursuits Online Course lean toward the latter approach. I think a mix of the two is the best way for me to learn.
If you are looking for a full-year credit of art instruction for your high school student, completing Core 1: Graphite Pencils and Core 2: Watercolor Pencils would give you a complete course.
Visit my fellow crew mates to see how ARTistic Pursuits Online Course is being used with their families – just click on the banner below: