Textured Landscapes

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***Editor’s Note: Thank you to the lovely Emma Hessel for writing this post. Emma is an admin over on our Relief Teaching Ideas Community Facebook Group. She is always sharing fantastic ideas and things that she has used in the classroom. I loved the Textured Landscapes that she shared on the Group page and she very kindly agreed to write up how she does them in the classroom.***

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This is one of my favourite art lessons! I originally saw this idea here. Textured landscape drawings are lots of fun, and can be quite relaxing. I’ve used this lesson across several year levels. The drawings above were created by a year 5/6 class, and those below were kindergarten!

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Textured landscape drawing is a perfect art lesson for relief teachers as it only requires minimal materials – A4 paper and coloured markers. Usually students will have their own set of textas, or at least have access to some in the classroom. 

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I begin this lesson by showing the class my own completed textured landscape drawing. I explain that while it looks complicated, it’s actually quite easy! I also reassure them that I will be guiding them through the steps one by one, so they should all be able to produce their own textured landscape. 
 
Once everyone has a piece of paper and a black marker (sharpies are good, but not always available!) I guide them through the steps. I tell the students that theirs can look different from mine, and my instructions are just a guide. Younger grades might prefer to use a pencil to draw their outlines, before tracing over with black marker. 

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First I draw a wavy line across the page, about one third of the page from the bottom. Floating above this I draw two curved lines, which will become the tree trunk. Many students will tell me they “can’t draw a tree;” I encourage them to give it a go following the steps, as it’s not as hard as it looks. 

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Next I join up the top of the trunk with branch shapes. Students can interpret this how they like. I love seeing all the different types of branches! The bottom of the trunk is joined up, forming roots. The important thing here is to ensure that the trunk is a totally enclosed shape, so that they will be able to fill it with a pattern. The leaves of the trees need to be an outline of a shape – I usually draw a cloud-type shape. They don’t need to worry about any details as they’ll be filling the shapes with patterns later. 

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Next I draw a hill going up from the wavy lines behind the tree, all the way to the edge of the page. Another hill next to that, and sometimes I draw a lake between the hills. Then I add some mountains in the distance. The students can choose how big to draw their mountains; how many peaks, whether they’re snow-capped, etc. I also added a cloud here; sometimes I add a sun (which some students may like to draw rising or setting behind the mountains). Again remind them to ensure their shapes are fully enclosed.

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The final step of drawing is a zig-zagged line to represent grass, across the bottom of the page. Under this I draw large rocks in random shapes. This is the completed drawing; now it’s time to create some textures!

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The students can choose whichever patterns they like to fill in each shape. I recommend they use one or two colours only within each shape, to create some contrast once the drawing is complete. 

landscapes10For younger years, you can demonstrate some simpler patterns such as wavy lines or criss-cross patterns. Upper primary can experiment with more complex patterns. Some students may even like to try their hand at “zentangles” to fill their shapes!

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