Tag Archives: Patricia MacLachlan

Easy Lesson in Perspective

perspectiveThis week, our kindergarten/first grade co-op class worked on lessons based on the book Three Names by Patricia Maclachlan. The watercolor illustrations offer a lot of art lesson possibilities. Our class chose to work on project about perspective, and it turned out to be a fun exercise that can be adapted for students of various ages.

For this lesson, you’ll need:

  • One sheet of watercolor paper
  • Masking Tape
  • Piece of cardboard (a little larger than the paper)
  • Watercolors: green, blue, brown, grey or black, and yellow ochre (golden yellow)
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper Towel

To begin, tape the piece of watercolor paper onto the cardboard backing. When your student paints on the paper, it will tend to buckle; by taping it to the cardboard and allowing it to dry completely, it should flatten out again.

Next, have the student draw a straight HORIZON LINE using a pencil and a ruler. The horizon is the line where the land meets the sky.

Now, instruct your student to choose a point on the line to be the VANISHING POINT. The vanishing point will just be a dot on the horizon line; it’s the place on the horizon where the road will seem to disappear.

Next, have your student draw two diagonal lines from the bottom of the page to the vanishing point. The resulting figure will look like a triangle. This is the road going far away into the distance.

Your child might choose to add other objects to his picture, such as trees or animals. Remember, though, that the closer the objects are, the bigger they will appear to be; the further away they are, the smaller they will appear.

To finish the picture, paint in the sky above the horizon line, and the land on either side of the road green and/or brown. The road could be golden yellow if it’s a dirt path or grey if it’s a highway.

Once your student has finished, be sure to hang up the painting or put it in a portfolio. A job well-done needs to be displayed! 🙂