This art program written by a veteran teacher is designed for middle to high school students, and though more fitting for the classroom setting, it could be useful to the average homeschool family. Of particular interest are the lesson ideas that are in the back of the book, which are brief suggestions for an art lesson. There are no step-by-step instructions, so this will require you to do your own planning. Here are a few examples from the (43) 2D and 3D lesson ideas:
“Sun Mandela. See samples of Asian Mandelas and create your own based on the sun as a theme. It can be done in watercolor with oil pastel resist. Consider the use of a cultural tie-in by asking students to use themes found in their own cultural background.”
“Dream drawings: Using J. Miro as an example or Klee, students re-create an image from a persistent dream. They are to include foreground, middle-ground and background.”
“Wire Tree: Using stovepipe wire or copper, students take 100 thin strands at about 1 ft in length and twist the wires to make a tree, slitting bunches and twisting roots and branches. Foil, craft jewels or other leaf-like objects can be added as leaves. See the Internet for many examples.”
The rest of the workbook includes worksheets, reference pages, sample tests, artist research paper guidelines, and other project helps, such as an extensive listing of You- Tube videos of student art examples. There is reference in some of the worksheets to a textbook called The Visual Experience, so you may want to have access to that or another similar reference.
This book offers a nice variety of art lesson ideas, and information, and can serve as a springboard to jump-start your art programs. Ideally, I see this teacher’s edition would be a tremendous help for someone who is already an art teacher who would like to see how another colleague chooses his lessons and organizes his class. For someone like me, the average homeschool mom with no art background, I don’t see this as compatible. I need an art curriculum which has the lessons organized, tells me what to teach and doesn’t require me to do much more than gather the supplies, the kids and tell them it’s time for art. Granted, over the years of trying many different curricula, I’ve yet to find one I’ve been truly happy with. That’s why I’ve turned the art reigns over to my husband who studied art in college and works as a designer. As an artist, he appreciates the author’s background, knowledge, and finds this workbook helpful and will be using it as a reference for teaching art to our boys.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book for my review.
Mr. Gibbons is an accomplished artist and founder of the Firehouse Gallery of Bordentown.