Emily Carr Art Lessons






For every girl who has dreamed of paving her own path, Emily Carr’s story will surely inspire. The youngest of five girls, Emily loved drawing from a very early age. Often scoffed at by her older sisters for her artistic perspective, Emily learned to do it her way. After traveling to San Francisco to study art and then to the UK and France, she eventually found her way home again to beautiful British Columbia.

Brenda, an art teacher at a private school in Ontario, Canada sent me these photographs of her third and fourth grade student’s artwork. They were inspired the lesson below. Aren’t they beautiful?

I don’t know if you are familiar with Carr’s work but she is one of my favorite artist, even ahead of some of the great masters. Her work was inspired by Canada’s natural world and like many of her Group of Seven fellow artists, she let the beauty of Canada’s rugged north inspired her work.

I can almost smell the moss and tree bark just looking at the children’s artwork! Thanks so much for sharing, Brenda!

Third and fourth grade students from Ontario, Canada create amazing Emily Carr-Inspired trees and forests. Art Lesson from Deep Space Sparkle


The lesson plan I developed took a few tries to get right. I wanted the students to create a dreamy, atmospheric piece that used tints, shades and perspective. Ultimately, I developed two techniques in which I thought the students could achieve this.

The two lessons I have available inside The Members Club features two techniques: tempera paint and oil pastel on black paper and tempera paint on white paper. I tried both techniques with my group of fifth grade students and was very pleased with both results.

How to draw Emily Carr Trees

We used oil pastels to draw trees from the ground up. The children focused on a “worm’s eye” view so that the bottom section of the trunk is quite large and the top tree canopy is smaller. This gives the illusion of height.

Emily Carr art project

Using a combination of tempera paint and pastels, kids used shades of green and blue to create a dreamy Canadian forest.

Emily Carr painted trees art project

I hope you enjoy learning more about Emily and her quest to capture Canada’s spirit. For another great lesson on Canadian art, click HERE for a Ted Harrison & Lawren Harris Northern Lights lesson.

The Members Club features two full-length lesson plans. Click HERE to learn more.

What do you think?

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  • Barb

    Oh my goodness! This is beautiful and perfect! I live and teach in Victoria, BC, Emily’s hometown. This lesson plan is already in my cart. Thank you!

  • Kimberley

    Hi there,
    Wondering why I cannot buy this lesson if I am willing to put forth the money.

    • Patty

      Hi Kimberely,
      We made it easier for art teachers to access lessons when they need them through out membership program. This is just one of the 350 lessons Sparklers can access. If the membership isn’t a right fit, we understand. We hope the free version of this lesson activates your imagination and will help you introduce Emily Carr to your students. If you are interested in joining us, you can download 2 free lessons and get on the waitlist for notification of the next enrollment (January!) https://www.sparklersclub.com/tsc/learn-about-the-members-club/

      • Kimberley

        Thanks, Patty. I am already on the waitlist. Is there a reason why we need to wait until January? Just curious.

        • Patty

          We only have two public enrollment periods a year. We take a whole week to share how the membership works, offer bonus bundles, answer questions and enroll a new group of Sparklers! It’s fun and it’s a way for us to balance enrolling members so we can spend mots of our time creating content. 🙂

  • k8whitton

    I cannot seem to find the Emily Carr lesson and unlock it… I keep getting the message wrong level…


  • jennifermhalden

    Which painting by Emily Carr was used to inspire this lesson? Also I am currently on the waiting list but am i able to download this lesson plan for free while I wait?

  • Brittany

    Hi there,

    I am also wondering if I can purchase these art lessons. I am on the waiting list for the members club. Thanks!

  • Andrew

    I am curious about the techniques used to combine oil pastel and tempura. Are they used in separate spaces or used in the same spaces?

    • Patty

      It’s one of my favorite two mediums to use in kid’s art…oil pastel to draw, and tempera to paint.

  • Joshua

    Good app.

  • Laura Klassen

    Hello. I am seeking more information about joining the Members’ Club. However, your link appears to be broken. Could you advise me on the best way to access your lesson plans?
    Thank you,

    • Bethany

      Hi Laura! Sorry about the trouble with the link. We will get that fixed. The Sparklers’ Club is an affordable and flexible pay as you go monthly membership—perfect for anyone who teaches art to students aged K-7. Our membership is currently closed but we will be opening enrollment soon! To join the Sparklers’ Club waitlist and learn more about The Sparklers’ Club click here: https://deepspacesparkle.lpages.co/the-sparklers-club-waitlist/

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