Submitted by: Patti
Lesson: Ancient Japanese Landscape Scrolls
Grade Level: 4th – 6th (Can be adapted either up or down)
Time Needed: Three one-hour class periods. (Day 1, intro and drawing with pencil; Day 2, outline in black marker and continue to color; Day 3, complete coloring, autograph and frame)
Students will be introduced to the Japanese style of art and design in this lesson using simple shapes and design. Students will create their own land in which they will rule as the Emperor/Empress with a palace, crops, farmer, farmer house, water source, light source, and nature. Cross-Curriculum with Social Studies/Foreign Language.
Japanese art reproductions, teacher made example of colored Japanese landscape, any story related to Japanese culture, Japanese to English alphabet (from a library book), Japanese architecture photo/poster/website. Artist: Hakusai
Vocabulary: Ancient Japan, Japanese, house, pagoda, depth, perspective, horizon line, near, far, palace, Mt. Fuji, and environment.
Draw 5 or 7 overlapping hills, starting on the bottom and working up to the top of the paper. Start on one side of the paper; end your hill on the bottom. Hill #2 starts on the opposite side of the paper and ends in the middle of hill #1. Repeat. (Reference: Japanese landscape scrolls that use overlapping)
Build your palace on one of the top hills. Start simple with squares; add fancy triangle Japanese style roof, door, gate, windows, towers, flags, etc. (Reference: Japanese architecture)
Every emperor’s needs a farmer to grow food for you and your people. Create a house in the Japanese style for your farmer on the hill of your choice. Using lines, create rows of crops on one of your hills near your farmhouse.
Create a river near the crops so they can grow. Emphasize the perspective used in drawing a river; far away should be narrow and the river grows wider as it flows closer to the viewer.
Create the sky so the crops have a light source to go with their water source. It can be mid-day, sunrise, sunset, night.
Create a road that leads up to your palace, it can be paved with brick or stones.
Using colored pencils, color your land, palace, farm, sky and water. Try different colors and textures for each hill. Add any other elements to your land in the Japanese tradition. (Samurai warriors storming the palace, fields of flowers, birds, dragons, roads, animals, etc.) (Reference: Japanese landscape art)
Using a Japanese to English character alphabet, have students vertically sign their works in Japanese. Use Sumi brushes and ink, black markers, or black colored pencils. (Reference: Japan to English alphabet from library book copies for each student) Let students practice their names on scrap paper.
Take two thick strips of black construction paper and glue one to the back of both the top and the bottom of the scroll. This will act as the frame for the ancient scroll. Using string or ribbon, have students roll their scrolls and tie. You could try making black paper loops lengthwise along the top and the bottom of the paper to hang, dowel rods painted, many possibilities to "frame" and hang the artwork.
Crayon resist, painting, printmaking/carving their name into a "stamp" with Artgum erasers, painting, and markers.