TOS Crew Review: Artistic Pursuits High School Book 1

Artistic Pursuits
THE Curriculum for Creativity


High School 3rd. Edition
The Elements of Art and Composition
Book 1 for grades 9-12
Ages 14 and up
Comes printed in color and in a comb binding.

This book covers 16 Units with 4 lessons each:

  • Lesson 1 -Building a Visual Vocabulary
  • Lesson 2 – Art Appreciation and Art History
  • Lesson 3 – Techniques
  • Lesson 4 – Application

Some other included information:

  • To do Lists
  • Assignments
  • European Art
  • Artists and their work
  • Past student work
  • Challenges

The publisher recommends 2 one hour classes per week to finish this book for a school year.  The program is student directed so you can go get some laundry done and then check in on your child to see how s/he is coming along. In the back of the book there is a chart for evaluating your student and their work.

One of the main ideas of this years book is to learn how to observe the things around you, to really look deeply and see past the upfront scene.

The lesson book is very easy to read and follow.  The pages are laid out with each “topic” in a box so things don’t run together. This is good because some pages are full of different information, pictures, sketches, etc. The assignments and other “to do” items are in red so you know there is an assignment on the page.

One of the things I would have liked is to have a Table of Contents that lists the lessons within each unit so if you are looking for something specific you want to work on, you can find the page with out flipping through book. In other words, a more detailed Table of Contents.

Our experience:

Because my daughter is an experienced sketcher, mostly self taught, I let her go with the program at her direction, and she did for hours (beyond the lesson recommendations).

We are familiar with Artistic Pursuits and have used it in the past so I felt comfortable just checking her work and talking with her about the lessons she was covering.

The lessons are easy to follow, especially for the motivated artist. The publisher’s intent is for the program to be student directed  is what I love about this curriculum.
I didn’t make her start at the beginning and that is OK. We worked with what her interests are right now, such as “light” within the picture and how it affects shadowing. Her other interest is shading.
My daughter read almost the entire book, she did devour it and “hoarded” it in her room. She doesn’t want to share it.  She did a lot of sketching, but the ones included in this review, were the ones she would let me share. She is very shy about people looking at her sketch pad and only likes to share once she feels are complete.

A few of the things I really like about Artistic Pursuits are the extra’s with in the lessons. I enjoy the history behind art, the artists, and time period. I think if you like art, you should learn art history and this is incorporated into the lessons but does not take it over.

There are some assignments that want you to go outside, and considering all the snow and coldness out side, my daughter did not go out. She picked things around her room and house. She also had times when she wasn’t sure what to draw, so she did her version of sketches she found in the lessons them selves.

There are guidelines to follow for grading your child’s work, but with something like art, I don’t grade. I may offer some suggestions to watch out for, but that is it.

Some other points I want to mention:

I personally think this program is great for those already motivated to do art. I am not sure I would want to give this to a child who is a reluctant art student.

Now if I could just get my daughter to add some color to her work! 



My Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

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1 Response to TOS Crew Review: Artistic Pursuits High School Book 1

  1. Debbie says:

    One of my dd used Artistic Pursuits in the 6th-7th grades. She always wanted to work independently and the program really brought out her drawing talent that I'd never realized she had. My current 7th grader needs more supervision or she'll do fast and sloppy work.


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