ARTistic Pursuits: Painting with Water Color Pencils(Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Art has never been my strong suit or my passion, but I love being able to introduce my children to various art forms and provide them with instruction in art. For me, that means finding great art programs that they can do without a lot of assistance from me and Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils from ARTistic Pursuits fits that well. My daughter thirteen-year-old was excited about the opportunity to try out this art program and learn more about this medium.

Course Overview

Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils is a 9 unit course that includes videos and a textbook. The textbook is available both digitally and in a hard cover version. Each unit has four lessons; each unit includes a video for the first lesson where they learn to use the art materials and techniques. The second lesson is a lesson in creativity where students learn to create art from their own observations and experiences.

The third lesson in each unit is an art appreciation lesson. In this component they see how the technique that they are learning was used in a famous work of art and learn about different artists.

Finally, they have a lesson which combines what they have been learning in that unit to create a work of art. There are directions and instructions but they also have some flexibility in the subject matter that they choose for the project.

Course Topics

The program started with students learning about the primary colors and the color wheel, then went on to teach about secondary and tertiary colors. In unit four they discuss complementary colors before moving on to neutral colors and color tints in units five and six. The last three units cover color values, monochrome colors, and white space.

Course Materials

In addition to the textbook and videos students did need to purchase a few materials for this course. However, I found that they were reasonably priced and readily available on Amazon or in most hobby stores. We purchased a 12 pack of water color pencils, a pack of water color paper, and then were able to use the brushes, pencil sharpener and t-square that we already had at home.

A sample of our watercolor projects with ARTistic Pursuits.

Our Opinions and Conclusions

My daughter enjoyed the class but felt that it moved a little quickly. She also felt like the videos were a bit long and spent more time on watching the instructor paint than actual instruction. However, she said she would still continue to work through the course.  She appreciated the fact that the assignments gave her a lot of latitude to choose her on subject matter. She felt the course would be best for sixth grade and older.

I appreciated that the materials needed for the course were not overly expensive and that my daughter was able to work through it with very little help from me. Once we had her account set up on the computer, the textbook arrived in the mail, and I showed her how to navigate the program she worked through it on her own.

If you are interested in an art program that your middle or high school student can complete independently or even an adult that is interested in art, check out Beginner Level, Art Core 2, Painting with Watercolor Pencils. In addition to this course, the Review Crew reviewed several other courses from ARTistic Pursuits. Make sure to click on the graphic below to check out the other reviews and see which course might be a good fit for your family.

ARTistic Pursuits Drawing

The UPS Elf!

Our “12 Hours of Christmas” and “Homeschool Homestretch” events are done. Many happy prize winners have already received their goodies, or have their noses pressed to their front door windows eagerly awaiting them! Now it’s time to focus on my home, family and our church festivities.

WPDBUT I wanted to share what came in MY mail today! Santa’s brown elf (not to be confused with wood elves, LOTR fans) visited us today. I know we homeschoolers get a special thrill from receiving boxes of books, so I thought I’d post a pic so we can squeal together!

I’ll be reviewing these items here after the New Year. Some of my favorite things, and I get to test drive them for free!


This felt like “Merry Christmas to me” when I opened it!


“Learn With Homer” Review and Deep Discount!

Have you met Homer yet? Learn With Homer was born (well, it became public) in August of 2013. In the short time that has elapsed since then, this adorable pigeon and all of his buddies have gained quite a following…over 1 million children now learn with him! So what has all these prominent media, news, and educational sites buzzing? Stick with me, and find out!

What is Learn with Homer? Here is an infographic to help you understand the method:


Learn With Homer accomplishes these four steps through beautiful, colorful graphics, gorgeous photography, engaging stories (a variety of history, myths, fables, folk tales, nursery rhymes), songs (from all around the world…and the vocabulary is linked to the lessons!), art, poetry, and games. There is so much to love about this site/app! This is not merely a reading program. It has such a wide scope of learning, including history, science, poetry, music and so much more (and they add new updates frequently)! Here is a screen shot to give you a sampling of the compelling beauty of the lessons:


Just seeing images like these made ME want to play! Our art-loving daughter has totally fallen in love with this site. Even though the site gives suggested ages as 3-8, our 9-year-old has enjoyed it SO much! I logged her in and gave her the freedom to poke around on her own. She played for over 2 hours (there is no fluff…it is all lovely education presented in such a way that children love to learn), took a break, and went back for another hour. I wanted to see if it would really draw her in, or if I would have to “sell” its virtues to her. In no time at all, I heard her singing along with songs. She repeatedly came to me to share something she learned, or to tell me the plot of a new story. I didn’t even get a chance to try out my sales pitch! First thing this morning, she wanted to get back on.

She loves the drawing and art options, and the fact that she can get new “thinking caps” for her little kitty avatar.

Currently, Learn With Homer is offered for pc (web version) and iPad. The iPad version got a spectacular facelift just today! The new version includes little adorable Wickles who play in Pickle Wickle Park. Guess what they like to snack on? Now there are even more fun features to enjoy!


The web version is slated for update very soon, and there is an Android version in the works as well. If that’s not enough, an iPhone version will come out after the first of the year!

Need stats? Here you go! There are 22 levels for learning with Homer currently…including over 1,000 lessons and activities! The program is proven to boost reading scores by over 74%!

In a recent study conducted by the former US Assistant Secretary of Education, students who used Homer for 15 minutes a day over a 6-week period nearly doubled their scores on the TOPEL (Test of Preschool Early Literacy), a leading predictor of future reading and academic success.


Are you dying to try it? No wonder!  Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial! You can also get 50% off an annual subscription to Homer! Click here! The special discount code is already plugged in for you! Can it get any easier?

Disclaimer: I was given a year’s free subscription for Learn With Homer in exchange for an honest and objective review.