Art. Collaboration with Nature

ART: Collaboration with Nature


Nature Inspired Creations ~ Watercolour Painting ~ Sketching


Overall Goal

Build it! Paint it! Sketch it! A choose your own adventure art program that meets the curriculum while immersing the students in nature for inspiration. Students can either create nature art sculptures, watercolour pictures or charcoal sketches as a way of art expression.
All three applications of the program are adjustable and can be incorporated into a hike.

Grade 6 Curriculum Connections

  • Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to produce art works in a variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works that communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts as well as current media technologies
  • Reflecting, Responding and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art experiences

Program Description
Using the forest as an artist’s studio, students investigate how the basic elements of design: line, shape and form, colour, texture, and value are also found in the world around us.

This program has two portions:
First an introduction to the elements of design and basic techniques for the medium of choice.

Second part applies the learning from part 1 by either building, painting or sketching(see below for more details):

Nature Inspired Creations: students will create works of art, using only natural materials, drawing on their own experiences and their imagination for inspiration. As in the tradition of Andy Goldsworthy, the art stays on site, however, the SOES digital camera is used to record the masterpieces and an electronic copy of the images is made available for teachers/students to facilitate follow up activities back at school.

Watercolour Creations: students will create watercolour painting pieces that they can take home. The portable watercolour supplies will allow students to travel to places new to them for inspiration.

Sketching: using charcoal or pencil and paper, students will apply their learning to capture the scene in front of them. It's an opportunity to observe closely the finer details around them, sketch the world as they see it. An adjunct to the sketching could be a creative writing piece.

Success Criteria/Learning Goals

1. Use the elements of design to create an artwork using natural materials

2. Use critical thinking and planning skills to compose a piece of art

3. Reflecting upon their work students will share an artist's statement about their piece. 


Pre-Trip Activity
Try some of these fun "at home" art activities. Some of these require very few materials and can be easily adapted for the classroom.
The Art Education at Home Activities.

Next Step Environmental Action
Use the sketches as a first step to nature journaling. Take a weekly journey outside to add some sketches and images to the journal.
Share the images created by the students in a gallery walk for family members or school community. Try these Phenology Wheel ideas as another way of Nature journaling.

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) have activities on their website that encourage students to create art. Have a look at this one colouring in a scene from a birds eye view. AGO Birds Eye View Activity
Explore Canadian artists like Michael Belmore, an Anishinaabe artist. Watch this video explaining his art design. Michael Belmore Video.


This activity can be done in any season and almost any weather