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Artists paint ... landscapes.

National Art Standards

Understand and apply media, techniques and processes

Students reflect upon and assess the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


* 9" x 12" white or manila paper

* Yellow chalk

* Tempera paint

* Stiff-bristle paintbrushes

* Cotton swabs

* Paper plates (palettes)

* Container for water

* Paper towels


A landscape is a picture of outdoor scenery. Landscapes tell us how the countryside looks. A bird's-eye view is one that looks down from above.

Close your eyes and imagine you are a bird or in a hot-air balloon, up high in the sky. What would you see? Fields with crops in rows, orchards, fences, horses, cattle, sheep, highways with cars and trucks, railroad tracks, trains, an airport, rivers, bridges, lakes with boats and ducks? Or would you see a coastline with a boat dock and beaches with people sunning themselves and playing?


In the Studio

(1.) Close your eyes and pretend you are high above a landscape. You are looking down, like looking at a map, and you don't see any sky.

(2.) Open your eyes and use a piece of yellow chalk to sketch in the main large areas on your paper--the fields, the lakes and such. If you make a mistake in your drawing, just draw another line where you want it. The tempera paint you will be using is opaque and will cover up any lines you do not want.

(3.) Mix the tempera colors that you want to use for your large areas and paint them first. You can mix a dull color by adding its complement (blue/orange, red/green, yellow/purple). Make a lighter color by adding a bit of color to white; make a dark shade by adding a bit of black to a color. Wash your brush and dry it on a paper towel so as not to dilute the colors.

(4.) When all the paper is covered and the paint is dry, add details with a tiny brush or cotton swab. You might create patterns by painting trees in an orchard, rows of corn stalks in a field. You might create cars on a highway, fish jumping in a lake, horses running around a racetrack, boats fled to a dock, swimmers, planes on the runway, and so on.


Bird's-eye view

Complementary colors












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Publication:Arts & Activities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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