more trees in a landscape. We keep
the horizon line near the top of
the composition to ensure that all
objects will fit in the space.
community. While it’s a challenging unit, the students find it very
Thanks to staff and pupils, I have
collected a large supply of calendars
and holiday cards to use as inspiration. When we read her biography,
we learned that Grandma Moses
used similar materials as inspiration for her paintings. Students
are encouraged to create their own
unique designs. Students with less
developed drawing skills often refer
to the handout I’ve prepared with
drawings of the façades of buildings.
As students finish their pencil
drawings, they use gel pens and
permanent markers to trace over
them. This keeps the detail strong
when watercolor is applied. This age
group finds watercolor the hardest
medium to master. I prefer liquid
watercolors as they are easier for
students to control and cleanup is
I demonstrate the use of num-
ber twelve brushes with a quick
diluted wash for sky and ground.
Later, smaller brushes can be used
for buildings, trees, and any other
small details, with a more intense
shade of liquid watercolors. The
snow scenes are perhaps the most
satisfying for young artists because April Hulse Lang is an art teacher at
the white pearlescent paint they use Roland Rogers Elementary School, Gallo-
way, New Jersey. email@example.com.
creates a smooth translucent finish.
Harriet Kinghorn, Lisa Lewis-Spicer,
Jacqueline Badman, T. S. Denison, Let’s Meet Famous Artists: A
Creative Art Activity Book, 2002.
Critique and Display
We conclude the unit with an evaluation of the work using a format I
found in Let’s Meet Famous Artists
by Harriet Kinghorn, Lisa Lewis-Spicer, and Jaqueline Badman. To
introduce students to the process
of critique, I bring in the work of
former students. The students find
great satisfaction when their works
are mounted in display cases in
the lobby, as it elicits a positive
response from the entire school
Students demonstrate how history,
culture, and the visual arts can
influence each other in making and
studying works of art.