Ted Harrison & Lawren Harris Northern Landscapes


Back in my college days I studied Canada’s Group of Seven artists. Even though I was a young adult, I never quite understood or appreciated the beauty of their work. I thought of this as I introduced my students to  the art of Lawren Harris.

I wondered how many thought it was interesting or how many would find it boring. You never really know what goes on inside a student’s head, but after the project was completed, there was real evidence that the kids at least understood the abstract and simplified nature of Harris’s art.

I had to beg many of my sixth graders to stop working as they were really into painting their tints and shades. I’m so grateful these children have art not only for the opportunity to create art but to learn how others create art. The limited color palette and the stark concept did not hinder my students. They loved painting like Harris.

Introducing Ted Harrison seemed like an easier task with the bright colors and swirling shapes dominant in his art. I was right. The kids loved playing with the brightly colored paints and organic lines.


In order to recreate an artists work, you have to look at it closely. Really think about why an artist draw his lines or how he chooses his paint colors. Many teachers don’t believe in copying other’s work, but I think there is so much to learn by doing so. Still, I encouraged my students to be inspired by the artist’s work and to create art that is unique to them.

And this is the fun part because no matter how hard you try to copy someone else’s work, your personality is fused into the painting without even being aware of it.

I’m proud to continue to offer my readers art lesson plans that have been tested in the classroom and detailed in a way that will make your life easier. I love to analyze how a child interprets instructions and I try to detail the best instructions for you.

ARE YOU A SPARKLER? These lessons and over 300 art lessons are available inside the Members Club. Access to videos, resources & trainings for one low monthly fee. FIND THIS LESSON IN THE WINTER & VALENTINES BUNDLE.


What do you think?

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  • Rahul

    This is a very practical and useful article for children.


  • Ann

    Hi there! I was just wondering which type of paint you use for this activity (e.g., watercolour, acrylic…). Also, do you use any other materials (e.g., oil pastels)? Thank you!

    • Patty Palmer

      I have the supply list and links in the lesson plan but basically, this project uses simple materials: paper, liquid tempera and oil pastels.

      • Anna Henderson

        Hi, Just wondering how I can purchase this lesson?

        • Patty

          Hi Anna, This is on of the many lessons included in our Sparklers Club–a membership program for art teachers. You can download 3 art bundles each month plus access TONS of art videos and teaching resources. Enrollment opens on Aug 24th. To be notified when enrollment begins, add your name to this page an download a few lessons while you are there :)https://www.deepspacesparkle.com/tmc/learn-about-the-members-club/

  • Theresa

    I was wondering if you teach this all in one lesson, meaning teach about both artists, then allow the kids to choose with artist/ landscape they want to be inspired by or do you as the teacher teach one artist per lesson? I am very excited to try this with my 4th graders. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks! 🙂

    • Patty Palmer

      Hi Theresa,
      I taught the lessons separately. It’s possible to teach both at the same time, but the styles are slightly different and you would have to prep two different paint palettes. Harris uses browns and blues while Harrison uses pinks, red and purples.
      One thing you could do to offer variety within the lesson is to branch out on each artists paintings. I used similar paintings within each lesson but you could expand to offer more suggestions and inspirational pieces.
      Hope this helps.

  • Katie Halford

    Hi Patty, Do you these lessons could be adapted for grade 2? Thanks!!

    • Patty Palmer

      Hi Katie,
      Honestly, the project looks easy but it might be a bit challenging for second grade. My suggestions is to take the project slow…take lots of time to create the drawing and lots of time to create tints and shades. 2nd graders don’t have the painting finesse that 5th graders have so the results may vary.

  • halfordk78@gmail.com

    Thanks for getting back to me!! I have purchased the lessons and will try to modify the lesson and will definitely take it slow. Love your site. Thanks again!

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