Near & Far

Near & Far lesson plan

Puzzled about how to draw realistic landscapes? Experiment with Crayola® Washable Window Washable Markers or Crayola Window Crayons and try some perspective-drawing tricks!

  • 1.

    Did you ever notice how realistic some landscape paintings look? One method for creating realistic depth (also known as perspective) is to show the comparative sizes of objects as you see them. Invite students to look closely at any landscape or cityscape painting or photograph. Notice that objects that are closer to you seem larger than those that are far away. The closer objects overlap objects in the distance, too.

  • 2.

    Look at the painting Picnic by the Lake by Thomas P. Rossiter, or a similar landscape. Compare the sizes of the trees in the foreground to the trees in the background. The background trees are overlapped by, and duller, than the foreground trees. The dulling is called "atmospheric perspective" and is due to the density of the air between the viewer and the background.

  • 3.

    To make a landscape drawing, in perspective, invite students to find a window that has an interesting view. Make sure the window is closed and locked. Use Crayola Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons to trace the objects seen from the window. Remind students to show the overlapping of objects in the front, and smaller size of objects in back.

  • 4.

    For an extra effect, add color and pattern to the parts of the foreground that you find most interesting. This will bring out the focal point(center of interest) and make the drawing come alive. Use a slightly damp paintbrush to blur the edges of images in the background. The marker colors wipe off windows with a damp paper towel.

  • 5.

    Ask students to discuss their artwork with classmates, discussing how they used the concept of perspective in its creation.

Standards

  • LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artwork.

Adaptations

  • Possible teacher and/or classroom resources include: Eyewitness DK: Perspective: Discover the theory and techniques of perspective, from the Renaissance to Pop Art by Alison Cole; Perspective Drawing Handbook by Joseph D'Amelio
  • Students survey their school building for public area windows available for original artwork. Look at the number of window panes available as well as the number of students, or student groups, that will be creating their original artwork on the windows. Create a schedule for students/groups. Prior to window art, students will create their original Near & Far scenes as a paper and pencil sketch. Discuss the perspective drawing techniques that are employed in the original scene.