Artistic Pursuits: Review {Giveaway}

I enjoy art.  I’ve enjoyed art since I was a child.  When I was pregnant with our sixth child, I took a smattering of art lessons, just enough to show me what I didn’t know.  I do not have much time to pursue art these days, but I have wanted to equip my children with the knowledge that they need to pursue it if it is something that they have an interest in.

We have been searching for an art program since our children were young and until last year were unable to find a program that fit our needs.  It needed to teach the children the basics of art theory without simply instructing them in how to draw pretty pictures in someone elses style and it needed to be something that the children could work through on their own (or nearly on their own).

Last fall we found Artistic Pursuits and have been thrilled.  The books are written to the students, requiring little teacher direction, they teach the basic principles of art  and incorporate appropriate practice giving the children the tools they need to improve upon the artistic talents that God has given them, while allowing them to maintain their own personal artistic style.  Artistic Pursuits also incorporates art appreciation and art history as well as observation skills, color theory and technical instruction in multiple media.  This is truly a complete art program.

Artistic Pursuits offers books for preschoolers all the way up through high school students.  Our family was given Junior High Book 2 (color and composition) and Senior High Book 2 (color and composition) to review.  Both books follow the same basic format, teaching art two days a week.

An Artistic Pursuits unit:

Each unit begins by introducing a new art concept (hue in both the Jr. and Sr. High  color books) and has activities that help the child recognize that concept in their environment and create art that reflects their new knowledge.

Next the students are introduced to how a master artist has used this concept in his/her art.  This lesson also includes some history about the example artist and the culture in which they live.  The student once again takes their new knowledge and applies it to a piece of their own work.

The students are then taught specific techniques that make it easier to render the concept that they are learning in the media with which they are working.

Finally the student takes all of the information that has been introduced throughout the unit and applies it by completing a final project.

Junior High: Book 2- Our experience

The Jr. High book instructs the student in the use of both chalk and oil pastels as they progress through their study of color.  Kaitlin (12) worked with this level.  Kaitlin is our child who has always been frustrated with art. She has just never been happy with the results that she produced.  After a few lessons in the junior high color book she came to me and said, “Mom, thank you so much for getting this book for me.  I’m really happy with my drawings.”  This was a first for her.

Kaitlin's first attempt with pastels

Kaitlin's first attempt with pastels

This book is a wonderful tool to teach your child about color using pastels.  There is a lot of technical information about using pastels and pastel paper in addition to color theory and applying that theory in practical situations.

Senior High: Book 2- Our experience

Just as the Jr. High book teaches and uses pastels, the Sr. High book teaches and uses watercolor in order for the student to expand their understanding of color.  Amber (13) and I both decided to work through this book, although Amber has progressed a lot farther than I have.  Once again Artistic Pursuits has delighted us with the step-by-step instructions and activities that encourage better observation and provide a knowledge to really create art.

Amber's first (and still unfinished) attempt with watercolors


  • Terrific instruction in the basic principles of art.
  • Teaches children in a way that allows them to use it to improve ALL of their drawing endeavors.
  • Includes art appreciation and art history taught in conjunction with the concepts and principles that the children are learning.
  • Introduces many different media and techniques over the course of study.
  • Parent doesn’t need to know anything about art in order to use this program.
  • The books are non-consumable and can be used for multiple children.
  • Books include student examples from regular kids, so your kids can see what a child their level can be expected to produce.


  • My kids get very involved in their art projects and tend to spend a lot of time on them.
  • Some of the supplies can be expensive.

Our family has also been using the K-3 grade: Book 1  and 4-6 grade: Book 2 since last fall.  The K-3 book introduces children to many different media and experiences in art and the 4-6 book focuses on basic drawing and shading techniques.  We have been delighted with all of the Artistic Pursuits products that we have experience with.

Each book of Artistic Pursuits is available for $42.95.

Better yet win your choice of AP books!

Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Sheri for winning the AP level of her choice.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me something about your (or your kids) experience with art.

Bonus entries:

  • Tweet about the giveaway.
  • Post about the giveaway on your blog.

Please leave an additional comment for each bonus entry.  Open to U.S. residents only.  Giveaway will end Thursday, March 25 at midnight.

Our family was given the Jr. and Sr. High Artistic Pursuits books in exchange for this review and giveaway.  All opinions are mine and I was not otherwise compensated.

This post is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.

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227 Responses to Artistic Pursuits: Review {Giveaway}
  1. Gennelle Thurman
    March 25, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    We have gone through two Artistic Pursuit books. I love them because their so easy. I often find myself doing the projects right along with the kids. I also enjoy them because they support our history time line that we’re doing. My kids love the projects and the lessons. These books have really helped them to not only draw, paint, etc., but also to put it into context with our history. Great blog and now a great resource for me!


  2. Tara
    March 25, 2010 | 8:40 pm

    My daughter is our ‘artist’. She draws and doodles and paints and crafts all day long. She has filled notebook after notebook with her sketches. She would love this book!


  3. Lora
    March 25, 2010 | 9:36 pm

    Growing up, my sister was “the artist”. But, not until I was an adult, did I realize that I have my own style. I’m enjoying art with my children, and learning along side of them.


  4. Lora
    March 25, 2010 | 9:36 pm

    And I love artistic pursuits!


  5. Rebecca R.
    March 25, 2010 | 9:47 pm

    This sounds excellent! I have not applied enough time to addressing art in our curriculum. We have done some lessons with the Thomas Kinkade DVD curriculum and the children enjoyed that.


  6. Lindsay
    March 25, 2010 | 10:47 pm

    So excited about this review and giveaway! My oldest daughter (3rd grade) L.O.V.E.S art! This would be a wonderful resource to add to our curriculum.


  7. April
    March 25, 2010 | 11:53 pm

    We have used AP pre-K and Kindergarten and love it.


  8. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads
    March 26, 2010 | 2:53 am

    I’m squeaking in here. Hopefully, I’m not too late. We had a little incident that kept me from getting on as planned…

    Anyway, my daughter loves all forms of art – painting, drawing, sculpting… I would love to have this curriculum for her. Thanks!


  9. Robynn
    March 26, 2010 | 7:41 pm

    My two daughters love art, these would be perfect.


  10. […] Artistic Pursuits – Beginning readers finish K-3 book, fluent readers finish 4-6 book, then move into Jr./Sr. high book 2. […]

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