by Brenda Ellis Publisher: Artistic Pursuits Inc. Comb-binding, 92 pages, 68 lessons, 230 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-939394-04-0, January 1, 2013. 3rd Edition
This book is the answer for the child who wants to learn to draw more realistically but doesn’t know where to start. It incorporates the creative aspects of making art into each lesson. Fourth and fifth grade students can begin this book without prior knowledge of art and work independently without the need for parental instruction. Children learn to see the elements of art in nature and in artwork by American masters. They will learn the techniques that artists use and produce a final work that requires assimilation of the knowledge gained in the three previous lessons within the unit. Each element is fully covered through this process of learning and builds on the others through simple yet engaging lessons. Children find, to their delight, that they are asked to choose the subject they want to draw. This results in a meaningful works of art as children fully engage in the process. In this way, children create real works of art from the beginning to the end of the book, without boring practice routines or copying methods. Children watch their artistic skills improve and are encouraged by the works they produce.
Children acquire skills in pencil drawing, scratch art, and markers. The art appreciation pages show how American artists like Remington, Audubon, Copley, and others used the elements of art and composition in their famous works, reproduced in full color. Technique pages demonstrate steps when working from direct observation, ways to add texture to a drawing, how to show form with lines, and other topics relevant to creating a drawing. The text is short and to the point and over 230 illustrations enhance visual understanding of the concepts. The content and conversational tone is perfectly suited to the age level. The book provides lessons for the completion of sixty-eight finished drawings that are both original and entirely the child’s own.
Unit 2, Lesson 1: On the Vocabulary and Creative Exercise page the element of art or compositional arrangement is identified in words and pictures. Students get their hands on art materials the first day in a project designed to explore the subject of art and creativity. The objectives of the Explore Your World! section are listed in order to clarify the purpose of the assignment and for easy grading using a grading system on page 91. "The independent nature of this book allows me to turn him loose with the art supplies and work on the projects with guidance when he asks." –D.D Homeschool Mom
Unit 2, Lesson 2: On the Art Appreciation page students see how the topic of the unit is used in a work by a master artist. When they see an element of art used in a master work, students are more able to use it in their own art. Illustrations accompany the work, helping students to see what is being discussed in the text. "This fits perfectly as we are studying American History in depth throughout the middle school years." -TOS Homeschool Mom Reviewer.
Students learn about the artists and the times in which the art was made on the Art History page, giving them a larger context in which to view art. A biography of the master artist familiarizes students with major artists and their works. Students learn about painters of the American Revolution, the first painters of the Native Americans, Wilderness Explorers, Cowboy Painters, Quakers, miniatures, American Impressionists, Realists, and Regionalists. Students learn what Americans were doing, thinking, and discovering during the artist's lifetime. The art assignment in blue type, helps students gain skill in working from observation, memory, or imagination. "An excellent study of art history. The best thing about this program; my kids love it!" – K. K., Homeschool Mom
Unit 2, Lesson 3: On the Techniques page students learn how to use a medium, such as pencil or marker. A variety of ways for using each medium are introduced. This page introduces some basic ideas about seeing to help the student begin to observe more closely. In the assignment, students practice with the techniques shown. "It explains how to do different things easily," Heather, Homeschool Student
Unit 2, Lesson 4: Instructions are given for a final project in which students assimilate the information from the unit and do a work reflecting their interests or particular interpretations. A materials list and suggestions for what to use as a reference is given in the right column. As students go through the book they will use all the references available: photographs, direct observation, their imagination, etc. Students see how others their own age interpreted and successfully used the element of art in the Student Gallery. A range of skill levels is shown to encourage different approaches to art. "My middle guy is a budding artist and was absolutely giddy when this book came in the mail. He has absolutely loved doing the lessons in the book and I have seen a vast improvement in his artistic skills since we have received the book." TOS Homeschool Mom Reviewer.
New feature pages show how the elements of art are used together to make a completed work. Here students see how a drawing begins with lines to make shapes, and then is finished with details that show textures.
New feature pages show how elements are combined when working with markers with thin and thick tips. Students learn to fill in solid areas with the thick marker tip and to make textures with the thin marker tip.
The contents page lists lessons that explore the elements of art and composition in ways that upper elementary students can identify with and learn from. Take time to browse through the topics covered in this book.
Media Introduced: Ebony pencil, white pencil, black markers with point and wide tip, scratch art paper and silhouette.
Copyright © 2000-2014 Brenda Ellis
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