Abstract Patterned Landscape

Lesson Plan, Grades 3-8, Art, Math, Sax, Mixed Media, Painting


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Tana Holderman-Orr

Students will paint patterned landscape using Sax Washable Liquid Watercolors. Each landscape will be separated into patterned sections using Zentangle® designs, and/or a variety of fine line patterns using permanent markers. Foreground, middle ground and background will be studied. Emphasis will be on horizontal lines and the placement of land, water, and sky in the composition.


  • Learn to create foreground, middle ground, and background in a composition.
  • Experiment with watercolors and color theory: i.e., complementary, primary, secondary, analogous, warm, and cool colors and how to mix colors.
  • Create a composition and placement of a landscape.
  • Study repetitive designs such as Zentangle, and create patterns for use in artwork.

Supplies Needed

Sax® Liquid Washable Watercolor Paint, 8 Ounces, Assorted Colors, Set of 8
Sax® Spectrum Watercolor Brushes, Flat, Short Handle, Assorted Sizes, Set of 5
Sax® Watercolor Paper, 18 x 24 Inches, 90 lb, Natural White, 50 Sheets
Sakura® Pigma® Pen, 0.5 mm, Black, Pack of 12
Zentangle® Basics Paperback Book
*Here are the supplies needed for this lesson plan for reference. Find a convenient carousel of shoppable products for this lesson below.


Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.



Discuss and show examples of foreground, middle ground, and background in landscape art. Have students identify the horizon line in each of the pieces.


Develop a composition that emphasizes the horizon line, sky and land on scrap paper. Students can experiment with their composition by adding mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, and/or islands. All compositions must have a sky and land.


Cut a 6” square (or no larger than 12”) out of watercolor paper.


Transfer the composition onto watercolor paper using a pencil. Set aside.


Demonstrate and discuss with students how to form different Zentangle patterns. Students can experiment and create their own patterns.


Select favored patterns and draw in each section of the composition.


Demonstrate the use of liquid watercolors and how to blend colors.


Apply Sax Watercolors to the composition and allow to dry.


Use a fine tip black marker to define all pencil lines within the composition.


Students should discuss and critique final artwork.