15 April 2021

Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils from ARTistic Pursuits Review


Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

ARTistic Pursuits  has been a favorite art curriculum in my homeschool for many years. I’m thrilled to see a book and video instruction combo as an option now from them.

For the last several weeks my son has been using Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils as his core art course.

The course is intended for grades 4th through 6th grade and students who are ready for a more detailed art course. This would also be a good fit for older students in my opinion.

I received the Hardcover Book which includes a full-color art instruction book, DVD, and Blu-ray. 

I also received the Online Course which includes the online Flipping Book with Streaming Video lessons. There are several formats to choose from: a physical copy, an online course, a combination of the physical book and online course, or a bundle which includes Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils, and Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils. You can also get your art supplies for each course too.

Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils, and Beginner Level has a total of 36 Projects. This is a semester course which is 18 weeks if you do 2 lessons a week.

Art supplies you need for the course are 4 graphite ebony pencils, white colored pencils, vinyl erasers, a pencil sharpener, sketch or a drawing pad, 8 sheets of black construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, black markers, and an optional drawing board. I like that the supplies are all items that can be found at your local store easily.

Each lesson Unit has 4 types of Lessons: Art Material Video Instruction, Creativity: Building a Visual Vocabulary, American Art Appreciation and History, and Master Lessons.

The Video Instruction is on the first page of each Unit is like having an art teacher in short videos that are no more than 10 minutes long for the 9 units. The videos teach you how to use the materials, techniques, tips, and other beneficial information to apply to your lessons.

Your second page teaches you vocabulary that pertains to art from things like texture, line, value, etc… For example in lesson 4 of Unit 4, you are learning about texture and how applying varying marks with your pencil can create texture that we see in objects. There are applications like seeing texture in objects and even going on a blind walk with a partner and using your hands to feel the texture.

Your next two pages are American Art Appreciation and History. You will learn about the artist and how they use the techniques like texture or value to create their masterpiece. Full colored art of the artist art work and in the margin it points out the technique and how to create it yourself. You also learn some interesting facts about the artist.

Master Lessons has you apply all the techniques you have learned in the unit. You finish the lesson with another project.

Throughout the lessons in each unit you are creating your own masterpieces. You will have instructions on the final project in each lesson in every Unit. I like the Student Gallery in the Master section. This lets your student see a variety of artwork done by students of all skill level. At the back of the book you have an Evaluation Sheet to assess your students work. Another feature is and Objectives which breaks down each Unit and lesson. One objective is draw a bird with using and ebony pencil with shading within the outline of the bird to show its form.

My son loves to draw and has used ARTistic Pursuits throughout the years. He has learned a lot of techniques. This year we have had a huge change in our homeschool and it’s been tough.  Art has been a bit neglected and he needed something that he could really work independently on. He already knew several of the skills but, sometimes you just need a refresher  to go over things again.

My son explored both the Online Course and our Physical book. The Online Course was easy to use. You are able to mark a lesson complete when you finish each lesson. The Flipping Book is located in the Course Book and Contents section. We sometimes forgot where to find it. I would have loved to have it linked in each lesson to make it easier to access. The contents are the same as the Physical Book.

Below you will see several of his drawings. 

Unit 1: Line

Unit 2: Space 

Unit 4: Texture 

Unit 5: Value

Unit 3: Shape. He struggled with this project as he really wanted to make a shoe but had a hard time getting the outline of the shape to his satisfaction. 

My family has always loved the approach that ARTistic Pursuits takes with some art history, teaching of the techniques, and the step-by step approach.

I personally preferred the physical book over the Online Course. There is just something about holding a book and flipping through the pages. My son on the other hand liked being able to watch the videos online but looking through a physical book. If you are looking for an art course I highly recommend any of the ARTistic Pursuits art courses.

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The Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to use several different books from ARTistic Pursuits so click on the banner to learn about the other courses.


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