Simple landscape painting is an excellent Year 10 2D project. It builds on concepts and skills they should already possess such as colour theory, paint mixing and application. The result also appeals to the age group who are generally still very keen to be producing “realistic” work. This landscape has a sky, ground and a few boxes drawn with perspective.

This project will take at least four hours. more likely six but could be stretched out to 8 if you wanted to go into more detail.

Before any painting begins a lecture on perspective is taught. You can brush up on your own understanding using any of the millions of tutorials on the internet. I use this one at drawspace (it’s Awesome A+)

You must discuss the horizon line, vanishing points (VP), vertical lines and vanishing lines. Give a demonstration on creating a box on the ground (below the horizon line so you can see the top), above the horizon line (so can see the bottom) and through the horizon line (so you can see neither top or bottom). You will need to repeat this individually as needed. This should take about 10 minutes (don’t bore them) and now you have the rest of the lesson to play with perspective drawing. I worked through the first attempt as a group allowing those who knew what to do to skip ahead.


Materials needed: A3 paper folded, lead pencil, ruler, eraser, coloured pencil or markers. Time: One hour

Next up you need students to paint their sky and ground. I did this as a group and found the kid were really into it. Start with the sky and then use the same paint to mix up the green for the ground. I used my demo piece to make the chart below. It was used by kids who missed out on the lesson as a guide for self teaching. This will take most of an hour giving time to clean up. Early finishers can revisit the perspective drawing.

simple landscape plan

Next lesson is all about colour theory and mixing. You want students to end up with three variations on a local colour. So red from the tube, red (hue) plus white (tint), red plus black (shade) or red plus black and white (tone). I got this group to explore hue plus complementary hue (red plus tiny bit of green) to make a different shade. I got them to work into a chart that I have made and photocopied. The one below is a version of what this class did, to give you the idea. This is a nice lesson that can take from an hour to a lifetime to complete. Seriously, I still do this every time I’m getting back into painting. 

colour chart

Next up its drawing the boxes onto the dry landscape. I use watercolour pencils as they can be dissolved by the paint application. Lead pencil can leave horrible lines. Paint the boxes so that there is a consistently light side to all the boxes. Nice one.


simple perspective


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