Grand Canyon Painting Lesson
Here is another lesson inspiration from the book, Wow! America! by Robert Neubecker. A journey across the United States brings us to the great Grand Canyon. Layers of rock, canyons and eroded arches appear endless, broken up only by the slight variations of colors. This lesson focuses on creating depth in a picture. The concept here, near and far can be used or simply the foreground, mid-ground and the background. The results are quite graphic and dramatic–just like the Grand Canyon!
- Starting at the bottom of the page, draw a line that will represent the edge of a cliff. The line should be about a hands-width from the bottom of the page and should contain curved sections and sections that bend in to one another.
- Draw vertical lines where the lines bend in together. This creates the illusion of depth.
- Next, draw the “pancake” like plateaus. It helps to keep the top part of the pancake relatively flat and then round the bottom. Draw as many “pancakes” as you would like.
- Add the vertical lines that will turn the “flying pancakes” into plateaus. Encourage lines that bend slightly.
- Draw a straight horizon line near the top of the drawing. Add rock formations, clouds, the sun, etc.
- Once the canyon is drawn, students can now return to the foreground and add cactus, rocks, etc. Because the students are using pencils, they will have a tendency to draw these items small. Strongly encourage bigger items as this will make the painting easier.
- Erase all unwanted pencil lines. A clean, concise drawing makes painting easier.