Graphic Landscape with Tempera Resist featured image

Grade Level

7-8, 9-10, 11-12


Eight class periods total. Class periods are 87 min.
Breakdown: 3 classes to brainstorm/sketch/sharpie, 4 to paint, and 1 to ink/wash


White paper (thick paper is a must), Fluorescent Tempera Paints (this lesson used Nasco brand), Indian ink, brushes, landscape photos, running water


India Ink

Lesson Objectives

Students will
• learn how to simplify a landscape
• learn and apply basic color theory (complimentary colors, repeating colors to create harmony) in making their landscape.
• create a tempera-resist painting.

Introductory Activity

Introduce students to what a graphic landscape is using the presentation (see resources), and the tempera resist process.
Students select a landscape to simplify.

Lesson Process

1. After students have selected a landscape to work from, they sketch the most important features. Encourage students to create depth via overlap and size relationships. Students should simplify the landscape into basic lines and shapes.
2. Next, students add Sharpie. Encourage students to use various line types and weights to section the landscape into areas.
3. Students start applying paint. When they paint, only paint inside the Sharpie lines so that the paint does not cover the lines. Paint is applied thick, almost as if you were scooping with a spoon.
Layer 1: Tempera- any colors; repeat colors using the triangle rule. The teacher uses the rule of repetition in the shape of a triangle to help draw the eye around the page. So, if they have one color down in the bottom right corner, they should repeat it in two other spots that create at least a sort of triangular shape.
Layer 2: Complementary colors.
Layer 3: Vibrant values of layer 1.
Layer 4: Apply an Indian ink to the whole piece
Allow to dry
4. Wash the image. When rinsing, we used warm water and let the sink take off most of each layer. We used a paintbrush to loosen up any areas that were not coming through. Allow to dry.
5. Apply Mod-podge to seal


landscape, simplification, space, line, line weight, resist, water-soluble, tempera


Teacher Presentation PDF
Video of a tempera resist process
Artists who work in Tempera Resist
Julie Dunn Fine Art: Tempera Batik Painting on Paper
Blog post

Author & Website/Blog

Whitney Burns

Supporting Images