Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I’m always excited when an art curriculum becomes available to review! My daughter and I have been working the past few weeks with the new Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils course by ARTistic Pursuits. This independent course combines art instruction, art history, as well as art technique.
What’s In the Course?
Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils course contains 36 lessons in a combination of video lessons and written textbook. It is a beginner course recommended for grades 4 and up. The textbook is a 64 page hardcover book plus DVDs and Blu-ray are included. There is also an online option with the physical product also, which is what we received to review. Online, the streamed flip book is an exact copy of the hardcover, with streamed videos. If completing two classes per week, this course is a one semester art class.
Each unit contains four types of lessons: First is the video instruction. Students see how to use their art materials in a short (5-15 min) lesson, and try their hand at the taught techniques. Next, in the creativity lesson, students focus on color theory, and how to observe things around them. A suggested activity gives the student more practice in technique and using color. The third section of the lesson is art appreciation and focuses on an American artist, the history, and their work. Last, the master lesson is when the student uses what they have learned in the unit to create their own work of art.
Unit Topics and Materials
The course begins with lessons on primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Color wheels, color swatches, and color mixing and blending are thoroughly presented as the beginner student learns how to use watercolor pencils. There are also lessons in complementary, neutrals, tint and value. The final two units focus on monochrome colors and white space.
The materials are listed at the beginning, and aside from a set of watercolor pencils and watercolor paper, most homes will have the other items needed to get started. Our family already had the supplies, although we did purchase a larger set of watercolor pencils. You will learn they are not all created equal. One brand I had on hand, and were of decent quality, but the colors seemed muted. I picked up another set, and while they were definitely more vibrant, there are a “middle” quality set.
How we used Painting with Watercolor Pencils
We used the online streaming to view the videos, and the book to read through the lessons and refer back to if needed. We covered one unit each week (plus or minus a break from school). I prefer the streaming option, although the DVD/Blu-Ray that is included with the text is perfect for those with spotty internet. My daughter and I both looked over the lessons over the review period, and tried a few of the projects. We both learned many new things about the box of watercolor pencils we had for so long! We also tried a few of the projects showing off the new techniques!
What we thought of the course
We both enjoyed the course. In this particular course, the instruction is in the technique of using the watercolor pencils, not so much recreating subject matter of the instructor. In fact, you are encouraged to be unique in choosing what you like, then applying the learned techniques. That explains why I chose a fish house for the building or structure, as they are more common than barns in my area. My daughter prefers to follow the instructor more closely, and it’s nice to be able to have that flexibility. She said that she now knows how to properly use the watercolor pencils she’s had so long.
I also think this is a well rounded course with the included art appreciation lessons. The course is well organized, and easy to follow. Personally, I would recommend this for middle school and up, rather than as young as fourth grade. I would also recommend the Beginner Level, Art Core 1, Drawing with Graphite Pencils to take prior to this course, if you struggle with drawing. The two of these combined would give your student a fantastic year of art classes. ARTistic Pursuits has several courses for the serious as well as the just curious art student! Check out how other families used this as well as other courses from ARTistic Pursuits by clicking the banner below!