TOS Review: Artistic Pursuits

Artistic Pursuits Book 2: Color and Composition Review by Tess at Circling Through This LifeWhen my oldest was very young, she did not like to color.  She didn’t really like to paint either.  I even had difficulty encouraging her to just draw.  Perhaps she is just too much like me.  I’ve always wanted to be able to draw or paint.  It isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I don’t know how to make my hands draw the lines that my eyes see.  Because this is a weakness for me, I’ve had difficulty including art instruction in my home school. 

Artistic Pursuits Book 2: Color and Composition Review by Tess at Circling Through This Life For the past few weeks, BooBear (age 16) and Turtlegirl (age 14)have had the opportunity to use Artistic Pursuits High School Book 2: Color and Composition.  This book covers color and composition.  It is not necessary to have completed book 1. Brenda Ellis writes the lessons directly to the student, making this an ideal program for independent study.

There are 16 Units and each unit focuses on one particular topic such as hue, value of hues,  neutral hues, balance, rhythm, or emphasis. Each unit consists of 4 lessons: Vocabulary and Creative Exercises, Art Appreciation and Art History, Techniques, and Application.

The book includes a getting started section for what parents want to know,  getting started section for what students want to know and my favorite section: rubrics for evaluation. I am not artist and I do not know how to grade art but Ms. Ellis includes objectives and a way to evaluate the student work so that I can assign a grade.

The book contains all the instruction you need to complete the course, however, you will need to purchase supplies such as watercolors, paper and brushes.  Although not necessary to purchase these from the publisher directly, Artistic Pursuits has made it convenient by providing kits for each book including the Senior High Book 2 Color and Composition.  You can find information about art supplies here. Click here for the specific page for the Senior High Book 2 supply pack directly from Artistic Pursuits.


Thoughts from BooBear: “I like how it is set up in Units with lessons.  I really enjoyed the small lessons because they allow you to process the information. I also like how they have a painting by a famous artist and talk about it in one lesson of every unit. They even include quotes from modern artists.  I was never really into art before I used this program.  Now I want to do more with art.”


Thoughts from Turtlegirl: “I really like it. It helped me to finally understand color. It has also inspired me to experiment. I enjoy the projects. The lessons are simple and easy to comprehend. I like the way it is set up. I like that they sometimes include pictures from previous students. I recommend the program for anybody who wants to learn how to paint.”


This book retails for $47.95.  For a complete description of the book and to see a lesson visit the High School Book 2 page of the Artistic Pursuits website. Visit the purchase page for options for both US and International ordering.

The TOS Crew reviewed the different books/levels of Artistic Pursuits from Preschool to High School. Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what my fellow crew mates had to say about Artistic Pursuits.

UPDATE:  The Artistic Pursuits books have been revised!  The NEW 3rd Edition has added lessons.  Check out my review of Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition for more details!


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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.


  1. What pretty artwork they created, good job!

  2. my 14yo has been drawing so much lately that I was pulling on my brain to try and remember the name of THIS VERY CURRICULUM. Thank you!!


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