by Brenda Ellis. Publisher: Artistic Pursuits Inc. Comb-binding, 92 pages, 68 lessons, 218 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-939394-05-7, January 1, 2013, 3rd Edition
This book is the answer for the child who wants to make artworks in color, providing a first in-depth look at the color wheel. As children learn to mix colors, their expanded knowledge turns a simple 12-color pencil set into an unlimited color source for all of their paintings. Fourth and fifth grade students can begin this book without prior knowledge of art and work independently without the need for parental instruction. The content and conversational tone is perfectly suited to the age level and designed to engage children in the process of creating original artworks. Units guide the child through an ordered and progressive study of color while covering topics like primary and secondary color, neutral colors, analogous colors, as well as compositional topics of rhythm, points of view, and emphasis. Other units offer an approach to drawing difficult subjects like buildings, figures, faces, and interiors. Each unit is crafted for focus on one color theory principle at a time while exploring the topic in four unique ways.
After being introduced to the topic of a unit through words and illustration, a Using Creativity exercise requires that the child think creatively while exploring the world through engaging studies designed to develop observation skills. Art appreciation lessons show how color is used through the study of American masters including the genres of American landscape painters, Impressionists, Regionalists, and painters of the American West. The text appeals to the interests of the elementary student as it explains what Americans were thinking, doing, and discovering during the artist’s lifetime. Techniques such as creating washes, hard and soft edges, tinting and shading are covered as children explore a variety of subjects such as still-life, portraits, and landscapes in their art. The book provides lessons for the completion of sixty-eight finished paintings and colored drawings that are both original and entirely the student’s own.
Unit 3, Lesson 1: The Vocabulary and Creative Exercise page explores topics on color theory. Definitions of the terms are introduced in each unit in both words and pictures at the top of the page. Students get their hands on art materials the first day in a project designed to explore the subject of art and creativity. "(My son) has really enjoyed this book. His favorite parts are when he gets to go outside and draw. He has learned so much about art in just the few weeks he has been using this." -TOS Homeschool Mom Review
Unit 3, Lesson 2: Students see how the topic of the unit is used in a painting by an American master on the Art Appreciation page. When they see a concept in artists' works, they are more able to use it in their own work. Illustrations accompany the work, helping students see what is being discussed in the text.
On the Art History page a brief biography of an American master gives students familiarity with major artists and their works. Students will learn about American Landscape Painters, Folk Art Painters, American Portrait Painters, Colonial Painters, American Impressionist Painters, and the American Realists. Students see what Americans were doing, thinking, and discovering during the artist's lifetime. Topics include exploration of the West, transcontinental railroad, American Naturalists, Colonial Revolutionaries, establishment of towns and itinerant painters, Civil War artists, influence of Europe on American painting, and regional influences. Students gain skill in working from observation, memory, or imagination. "This is the best art program ever! I like to draw and paint and this inspires me to paint better. I hope there are more books!" –Emily, Homeschool Student
Unit 3, Lesson 3: Students learn technical information using watercolor pencils. Techniques for painting, drawing, and exploring certain subject matter are shown. In this assignment students mix two primary colors on a leaf to see secondary colors.
Unit 3, 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 daughter said she felt that it helped her grow in her artistic abilities… and she enjoyed the projects because they were fun and taught her things she didn’t know." -K.C. Homeschool Mom
New feature pages focus on the elements and processes of art. On this page students see how colors are laid onto the paper in stages to create smooth value changes.
New feature pages focus on the processes used in art. On this page students are shown how to draw from direct observation, then how to apply water to create a painting with watercolor pencils.
The contents page lists lessons that explore the color wheel 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: Watercolor Pencils, wet and dry techniques
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