Folk Art Landscapes

8-folk art barns

Who doesn’t love patterns? 
Two things that my students are great at are Painting and Patterns!
In class we discuss what is a symbol versus a pattern? What is a complex pattern? What is a motif? These fun folk art landscapes combine both concepts.  Fifth grade students looked at the work of artist Heather Galler’s stunning folk art paintings. She has awesome patterns so be prepared to fall in love. 
You can check it out here.
Week one: Students created their designs with pencil. Students need at least 15 sections with various patterns. Trees, suns and barns were all added.
Week Two: Students used a sharpie and outlined EVERYTHING. Once the outlining was complete students used Crayola Construction Paper Crayons to color in just the shapes not the backgrounds.
Week Three: Students painted the background with liquid watercolor paints. I had the premix in muffin containers so that the colors would be vivid.
12 x 18 white drawing paper
Sharpie chisel tip
Crayola Construction Paper Crayons
Liquid water colors


Lastly, when the paint was dry we matted them and added our paintedpaper placemats cut into strips for the border. Recycle- Reuse- Repurpose!


Keep on Creating! 

Laura xoxo




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  • Reply
    February 5, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I am so stealing this one!! Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Thanks! I had some of these at OAEA Conference. These are some more from my students. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 5, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Wow! The colors are so vivid. I love this lesson. I'm going to link it to lessons I love and I'm going to try!!

    🙂 Thanks for sharing…

  • Reply
    February 5, 2012 at 3:11 am

    These are so beautiful, can't wait to try !

  • Reply
    February 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

    This is awesome! So so warm in this cold winter!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    HOW have I gone so long without checking out your blog??? You have so many great little tips in addition to your wonderful lessons. I've had some thin strips of painted paper for (ahem) years and use them occasionally to weave with on top of regular paper weaving, but still have so many left… never thought to use them as borders! Duh!!!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Thanks Kristina, I use the painted placemats for many things, but I love the look as borders, really easy too! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Love it! Stealing this idea – thanks for the share!!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2012 at 5:15 am

    What a wonderful art lesson. I can't wait to use it with my children! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I am so excited for each and every student who has you as their teacher. I love that you are teaching them advanced art vocabulary as well as tying your themes to literature. I'm now a retired middle school teacher trying my hand at art for the first time in my life. I will refer back to your site many times. May God Bless You Richly!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Прекрасный урок!
    Мы часто используем масляную пастель и акварель вместе, но у вас такие ясные чистые работы! Душа радуется! Спасибо!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Beautifly done, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Great idea for my Middle School artists. Thank you.

  • Reply
    sarah carbin
    April 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    What a great idea for older kids! I teach arts and crafts at a church camp and have a hard time trying to think of good crafts for the 5th grade range.

  • Reply
    black and white art prints
    May 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Thank you very much for this post. I was so much looking forward to it. It helped a lot when I recently captured my oil paintings. Now I'm really happy with the photographs paintings. Thanks a lot!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Hi, I love your site! Such inspiring lessons and bulletin board ideas. Do you mind if I use some of your art lessons, like this one and the “Blast Off”?

    Thank you for sharing your awesomeness! Stacie

  • Reply
    August 31, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for the comments~ You def can borrow away!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I love the idea of framing these with the randomly painted strips with just a thin black liner. Marvelous finish to a beautiful lesson.

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    November 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Wonderful! Would this work just as well with oil pastels?

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Yes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Orchidzbloom .?
    December 16, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I have been lovingly sent here by cassie Stephens and I am totally I inspired!!

  • Reply
    Christine Holton
    March 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Ohhhh thank you! I have been trying to teach fundamentals to a folk artist that works completely intuitively, but without attempting to change her beautiful natural style. Win!

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