Do your kids like art but you just don’t know how to put something together for them? Check out ARTistic Pursuits for grades K – 12. We had the chance to review Early Elementary K – 3, Book 2: Stories of Artists and Their Art. The projects in this book relates to watercolor painting, print making, and mixed media.
The time period in this book is 13th century late Gothic to the 18th century. Students learn about artists and their work through stories and then proceed onto a project that is related to a story. Some of the artists in this book are Giotto, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Turner.
The lessons take about 10 minutes. You read each story to the child. There maybe questions about artwork in the story or it may describe art period or style. Regardless of the lesson the child is learning as to how they can apply it in their own art through what they have learned.
Let me give you an example: Giotto di Bondone was well known for his skill in painting people with expression and emotion. He did fresco style paintings. Fresco style is when paint is applied to a wet plaster wall. Another smoother layer was painted over the section that was to be painted that day. The artists painted by sections before the plaster would dry. Giotto was a very talented man and had the perfect eye to make something look so real. He was working on a painting with Cimabue and had painted a fly. Cimabue returned to the painting and tried many times to brush the fly away and couldn’t because that is how real it looked. One of the lessons was using sparkling paste on a hard board panel with water colors. Unfortunately I think that ours dried faster then my daughter could paint. She had a blast painting on sparkle for the first time. I can’t spoil the who story about the lesson but that’s just a glimpse into how it relates to the project your child will do.
HOW WE USED THIS:
I used this with my daughter three times per week. We did three lessons per week. We would read the stories together and answer the questions if there were any. We would take a careful look at the illustrations, looking to see the different details. We would even spend time talking about the pictures. Once she understood what the lesson was about we proceeded into the projects. She really enjoyed each and everyone. We have been working on the watercolor painting as she loves to paint. I can’t wait to get into the print making and mixed media as well.
I really liked that the lessons were short. Sometimes when you spend to much time kids can lose interest. It was nice to learn facts about the artists and see some of their work in colorful illustrations. The projects are defiantly fun and engaging as well. The lessons may have taken us about 10 minutes but doing the work took us longer. My daughter really enjoyed doing her own works of art. She was really excited about using the gold paper in one of her paintings. She made hers about Jesus and put a crown on him. It was interesting to learn how painting has changed over time. In this painting above artists used real gold in their paintings. One of the artists used the gold in halos of angels.
I am happy to have been introduced to ARTistic Pursuits, and have really enjoyed watching my daughters interest in art blossom. She is learning about the history of art and artists and applying them to her own art work. I really like that this isn’t just making something crafty, there is actual learning to be had.
I also found this to be very inspiring as it encourages kids to go outdoors and take notice of their favorite scenes to get inspired to paint. My daughter pictured the tower at the Wild Life Sanctuary where you could look out and see the animals and different scenery in the distance. So I love how she took one of her own life experiences and applied it to her work.
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