Multi-Faceted Trees

Lesson Plan, Grades 7-12, Art, Science, Mixed Media, Drawing


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Eric Orr

Trees are a beautiful and necessary element in our environment and landscape. We get oxygen, shade, beauty, and comfort from their structure, cover for wildlife, and amazing seasonal change of color, texture, and form.


This lesson uses line, color, and shape on the built-up cardboard substrate, allowing for an automatic abstraction of the reality one usually sees in trees in our environment.

  • Provide a focus close or far ... micro or macro.

  • Be a stage for various artistic handling of the subject – each layer of cardboard being used for different media.

  • Enable artists to experiment with various color schema on each plane; each plane a different style of art?

Supplies Needed

Watercolor/Mixed Media Board 15 x 20
Black Matboard 11 x 14
No. 8 Ultra-Black Mounting Board 11 x 14
Watercolors, 8-Color Set
Colored Pencil Pencils, Set of 12
Brushes, Set of 12
Glue 4 oz
*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: Define and complete artistic work.
Standard #6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Standard #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.



If the mask would be correlated with a specific culture, discuss the historical context and possible symbolism.


Decide how tree will be depicted, how many planes of Watercolor Board, their shape and position on the groundsheet.


Cut and glue planes of Watercolor Board to the base. Let dry.


Draw tree sketch with pencil.


Complete linear work with colored pencils.


Apply watercolor to highlight certain areas.


Use colored pencil to provide details.


Place finished piece of art work on Matboard or 8 Ultra Black Mounting Board for display and critique.