Ted Harrison is one of Canada’s favorite painters. He was born in England in 1926 but immigrated to Canada’s Yukon in the 1950’s. His vibrant paintings of the people and the landscape of the Yukon Territories has brought Harrison many fans.
I would highly recommend the book Ted Harrison Collected by Robert Budd for the wide variety of art displayed in the book. Kids will love the flat colors and vibrant nature of his art.
What You’ll Need:
- 12” x 18”white sulphite paper
- Liquid Tempera Paints (blue, white, red, orange, turquoise)
- Red, turquoise, pink and purple oil pastel
- Ted Harrison Visuals
- Optional: Posca Paint Markers
Use a variety of colored oil pastel to draw a Ted Harrison Inspired background. I like to start at the bottom of the paper and work up towards the middle and finally the sky (top of paper). Working this way allows you to achieve perspective. Mountains or icebergs should grow smaller the farther away they are. Drawing a flat water line can act as the horizon line.
Draw gently rolling hills or snow drifts near the bottom of the paper.
Draw icebergs, mountains and a body of water in the middle of the paper.
Draw mountains in the distance.
TIP: Don’t add too much water to the liquid tempera paints. You only want enough water to allow the paint to spread easily.
To paint like Harrison, use a round pointed brush to paint inside all the shapes you created when drawing your landscapes. Resist the urge to paint over the lines as your painting will look much better if you work slowly and carefully.
Keep each shape one paint color.
If you look closely at Harrison’s work, you will see that he uses bold colors to outline his shapes. You could use black oil pastel but my students liked the blues, pinks and red colors better.
If you can afford it, buy paint markers with a medium to bold point. These work amazing to create strong line details in works of art.
Use the water to clean your brush only. Paint that is drippy with water will look more like a watercolor painting rather than an oil painting. You want your paint to be thick so it covers your paper well. Using a paper placemat (top picture) is helpful to help clean your brush and remove extra water.
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