Review of ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Sculpture Technique Model

My son is quite the artist. When he's not sketching or creating animation on the computer, he's always sculpting for his stop-motion animation videos. Since I really like to have him access information that will be helpful in his endeavors, we were happy to have him review Sculpture Technique Model from ARTistic Pursuits Inc.

This spiral-bound instructional module was much like the other product we've reviewed from the company. It was full of simple-to-follow, but often challenging lessons on art. It covered theory, technic, history, and style. My son started reading it right away, even before we assembled the materials to do the lessons.

You'll definitely want to check out the supply list before you start these lessons. Some of the items are more common than others (such as the water putty you can get from most any hardware store.) Other lessons require some shaping and sculpting methods that require tools; the book does, however, allow you to be creative in finding suitable household replacements for some of the tools. Using a toothpick, for example, is a much more affordable option that the tool it replaces.

Some of the projects will take little time at all, since they are covering methods of sculpture, such as the coil method. But as the book progresses, you'll see your student not just learning methods, but executing and even finishing complete works of art. Since much of the work includes learning the methods, planning the project, sculpting, drying/baking, and finishing with paint or other materials, one "lesson" can take a full week. Be sure to look ahead and coordinate projects with your schedule so that you allow for proper drying and finishing time.

Most of the lessons can and should be done in order, but we did improvise once or twice and skip around a little. If something didn't quite work out, we would move on to another lesson while we waiting for our "do-over" to dry. My son read ahead a lot; he was eager to learn about new methods, even if we didn't have time to execute that day.  Since this is an intensive art module, you should expect to allow at least 3 days in any given week to do the projects. Some will require you to do them one after another; other lessons will need those 3 days to be spaced out. To get the most out of this product, I would suggest reading ahead to see what is required and marking out the dates for project work on your calendar. While it doesn't have to be complicated, busy families who are used to completing art projects in one sitting will need to be a bit more proactive to provide their child the best experience.

My son loved applying the skills he learned in this book to everyday tinkering. While I can't give him infinite supplies of professional clay or materials, I have encouraged him to practice what he's learned on other materials when he can. A homemade play dough or putty works for times when he just wants to sculpt informally and practice, but we are out of materials. My son is always practicing his art, so we've allowed him to be creative and explore different things that work for him. I think the results have been pretty impressive!

Since sculpture isn't like other art methods where you can store the finished pieces in a folder, we have taken pictures of everything he has made with my digital camera to store online. All of his work from this set of lessons will go into a digital portfolio that we hope to use for his future, as he does want to go to college to study art and engineering!

As always, we were happy with the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. program. I love the fact that it is written to kids, and can be a more independent study that doesn't require a lot of materials. My son is an independent worker, so most days I leave him be with his book and materials; at 12-years-old, he appreciates being allowed to explore and only be checked on periodically.

If you need something that really combines theory and method with actual creativity, you should check out the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. products. This is just one of many available, and we have had good experiences with anything from them that we have tried. (See our review of the Elementary 4-5 Book One for an example!)

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