Lesson Objectives:  Students will learn about perspective while painting a watercolor tree.

Time Required: 1 hour

Artist: John Constable, Wivenhoe Park, Essex

Source: The Usborne Complete Book of Art Projects, pgs 140-141 


Watercolor paper 9×12 taped to a cardboard board

Watercolors (orange, red, brown, blue)

Acrylic paint (brown

Brown oil pastel


Paper towels

Water and cups


Discuss space in art: creating a picture that appears 3-dimensional and on 2-dimensional piece of paper. Note that objects closer to you are larger and more detailed. Things further away from you are smaller and less detailed. 


  1. Pass out watercolor paper taped to a board. Write names on blue tape. Turn the paper vertically.
  2. Paint orange watercolor across the bottom ½ of the paper, creating a hilly horizon line. Paint in a blue sky. While still wet, dip a paintbrush into the water and let it drip over the sky. The paint will spread a little.
  3. With brown acrylic paint, paint a tree with branches.
  4. Use a brown oil pastel to draw wavy lines for the middle vein in the leaves.
  5. Paint a leaf shape around the veins with different shades or orange, red, and brown watercolors.
  6. The leaves closest to you should be big, while the leaves further away, i.e. on the tree, should be smaller.
  7. When the leaves are dry, add in the fine veins on the leaves with a Sharpie or acrylic paint.