Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I have a son who loves to draw and dreams of becoming an artist. I want to encourage his dreams, so when the opportunity came up to try out a course from ARTistic Pursuits, I requested Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils. We worked our way through the first unit, Outline Drawing.
The first lesson described what an outline is. We watched a video lesson in which the instructor showed us how to find the outline of an object, trace it with our eyes, and then draw what we saw. Then, we were supposed to choose a selection of small objects, such as teacups or small toy animals, and draw them. I did this activity along with the children (Mr. Sweetie, age 11, Mr. Imagination, age 9, and Little Miss, age 6). I think we all agreed that Mr. Imagination did the best! Here are his drawings from the first two lessons, and mine and Little Miss’s from the first lesson.
For the remaining three lessons in this unit, we read a page or two from a book. Because we live outside of the United States, we had to use a digital version of the book. It works, but I think the physical book would be much easier to use. Lesson 2 talked about line as an element of art. Mr. Imagination went outside and drew several objects he found. Lesson 3 showed a painting by George Catlin, who painted many American Indians, and focused on the way the blanket draped over a chief’s lap. The assignment was to drape a cloth over something and draw the folds of the cloth. The last lesson in this unit gave the assignment to draw a person sitting on something. Mr. Imagination chose a picture of a child swinging and drew that. Unfortunately, the picture he drew got lost before I photographed it!
Each unit in this course focuses on one particular aspect of drawing, and each lesson builds on the ones before. As I mentioned already, Unit 1 teaches how to draw an outline. Unit 2 talks about space—showing what objects are closer than others—and then the units go on to teach about shape, texture, value (light or dark), and form. The last three units help students draw human, animal, and man-made forms.
Each unit begins with a video lesson, and an assignment to practice the concept that was introduced, using objects found around the student. The second lesson expands slightly on the first one. The third lesson studies a painting by a famous painter, and gives an assignment based on that study. The fourth lesson gives another assignment to expand on the topic a little more.
This course, the way we received it, did not work very well for us. I believe that if we had the physical book, Mr. Imagination would have used this course a lot more. He tends to pick up art books that are laying around and work through them, but if it’s online it is a lot harder for us to use. I am quite impressed with this course myself, though. I like the idea of learning to draw objects around you, rather than being shown a picture and walked through the steps of drawing it. This seems quite useful to me. So, bottom line? If you have an aspiring artist, and can get the book to go with the video lessons, or have an easy way to access the digital book, ARTistic Pursuits would be a great choice. Check out what several other families experienced with it by clicking on the image below!