Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review of Artistic Pursuits

When we were selected to receive one of Artistic Pursuits art instruction books free in exchange for our review, I was so excited.  For combining art instruction and art history, there is no one who does what Artistic Pursuits does.  Offering art curriculum for all grades Pre-K through 12, Artistic Pursuits' books follow almost the same format, regardless of level.  Book 1 of each set (we used 4-6 grade) is an overview of drawing, including art and composition.  Book 2 is an overview of color theory and composition.  Art history is incorporated in both volumes.

Why is Artistic Pursuits superior to other art curricula? Several reasons immediately come to mind.  First, the program is written to the student.  Through a series of 64 lessons at each level, your children can learn both how to draw and how to create art.  Art instruction appeals to some parents, but is terrifying for others who still have nightmares of paper, scissors, and Elmer's Glue from time to time (too personal?).  We all want our children to have some art instruction, often for different reasons. For fans of classical education, art is very much a part of a well-rounded humanities course.  For parents who want their children to have a school experience similar to the public schools, art is not even an option: you have to have it.  Some parents think it is necessary just to have art as a part of their child's permanent record or transcript, while some states require art instruction.  Artistic Pursuits is the answer to every one of these parents' prayers.

Artistic Pursuits is different from other curricula for the following reasons, too (taken straight from the horse's mouth - or their website): 
  1. Students do not do art activities in a vacuum.  That is, there is no drawing of cubes, cylinders, etc. Students draw real things.
  2. Students don't learn just one type of technique.  They learn to create art the same way that artists do: by *doing* it.
  3. Students use larger sketch books that mimic the way artists actually sketch - using the whole arm.
  4. Students do not sit in front of the computer or TV.  They are fully engaged with the world around them, which helps them learn how to see what they want to create.
Best of all, and this is not taken from the website, but from my own experience, Artistic Pursuits actually does teach your child to draw! My own daughter is too shy to let me post her work here, but she loved seeing the improvement in her technique without even being aware that it was happening.  She got to create art using a variety of media, and she had a blast doing it.

Artistic Pursuits has a curriculum for you, regardless of your child's age.  Their instruction books retail for $42.95 and can be purchased through the website.  You can also purchase all of the art supplies that you need for any level.  Prices vary based on the needed supplies.  

At first glance, Artistic Pursuits may seem expensive, but when you factor in that you can reuse the curriculum with each of your children, the price goes down dramatically.  Best of all, though, is the fact that art-phobic moms don't have to teach it themselves! For more information, visit Artistic Pursuits online, and check out the Crew blog.


  1. I enjoyed reading your review of Artistic Pursuits. It seems like a wonderful curriculum for any age. My youngest daughter just loves to draw and create things!

    Visiting you from Molly's team :)

  2. Thanks, Amiee. As an art-phobe, I so appreciate Artistic Pursuits!