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Silvercreek art sharess How to  Create Atmospheric-perspective

Atmospheric Perspective

Teacher Tip:  I use heavy weight paper and plan on 3 teaching sessions to create the landscapes. First we focus on  landcape composition. This is the time to pass out those calandar images of bucolic scenes. Let them draw right on the picture defining the foreground, middle ground and background.  Following the  landscape picture exploration, have students choose their favorite and sketch it out on their good paper. I only let my kids  draw  the lines that divide page into foreground middle ground and back ground. Following this  studetns stretch their paper by taping parallell sides down on cardboard or drawing boards, then the other sides.  For session two, we play with the colors. I give  them paint in egg cartons and let them mix their tints and shades.  Then they put their base coats on.The secret to amazing landscapes is to have good base coats  Third time is when they add details, create atmospheric perspective and add in shadows and reflections. I always encourage them to keep their brush mosit, unles they want a dry brush effect.


Adapted Lesson From the Getty              

Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts
Time Required: 3–Part Lesson
4 class periods
Author: Carla Buchanan, Third Grade Teacher, Edison Elementary, Burbank Unified School District

                          Adapted by Cheryl Schellenberg

Students will use nouns, verbs, and adjectives to describe details visible in  paintings depicting the different regions in California. 

Students will be able to:
• use nouns, verbs, adjectives, and sensory words to describe details in the paintings of the differnt regions.


• write an informative text about two of the regions. It is really important that students refer to the painting and base their writing on what they see, and site their source, painting A or B, or by title.

• identify how color, line, and movement are used to depict a place in paintings. 


  • 2.2 Mix and apply tempera paints to create tints, shades, and neutral colors.
  • 2.3 Paint or draw a landscape, seascape, or cityscape that shows the illusion of space.

• apply their knowledge of descriptive language and artistic elements to create a landscape depicting the weather and mood.

California Desert by Gary Brandes
Ararat Art Studio, Sunset at Pacific Ocean California
Cook/s Meadow and Yosemite Falls

Featured Images



  • Image of Sunset at Pacific Coast
  • Image of  Yosemite Falls & Cook's Meadow
  • Image of  California Desert
  • Chart paper
  • Drawing paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Tempera and paint brushes
  • egg cartons to serve as pallets
  1. Discuss the paintings further using the following questions:  and chart the answers: nouns, adjectives, and verbs
    • What other sensory details do you notice in the painting?
    • Can you name nouns that describe things in the foreground? What do you see in the middle ground? In the background?
    • What adjectives can you use to describe the scene?
    • What verbs can you use to describe what people are doing?
    • What is happening in this painting? What do you see that would make you say that?
    • Write a summary sentence explaining the main idea of the painting.


  1. Display  California image  2. repeat Step 1 .for each piece


  1. On chart paper, have students compare and contrast the paintings using a graphic organizer of your choice (i.e., a Venn diagram or Thinking Maps® such as a Double Bubble Map). Which details are included in both paintings? Which details are different?  
  2. Students then write a informational text about two or more of the images and tie their statements to the images.



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Mrs. Schellenberg & Young Artists

Ralph Waldo Emerson's  Poem:             Success-     to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know  even one life breathed easier because of you.

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We used the wiring for our artful galimotos

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Fresno County Office of Education, we thank You for the opportunity to create with clay!

Thank you Mr. Bullwinkle and Fresno County Office of Education for awarding us with a grant to purchase a kiln and clay supplies. We are so happy and grateful!

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