Southwest Landscapes - Lessons in Perspective - Eva Varga

June 11, 2013

Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks in Utah offer the most amazing panoramas. Majestic rock formations, iron-rich colors, and endless blue skies are an artist’s dream.  Shortly after our return home from our road trip, I stumbled upon a promising looking art curriculum that I knew I couldn’t pass up.  When I showed it to the kids, they were eager to give it a go.    

drawing with chalk pastels

We didn’t have on hand the acid-free construction paper recommended, but they didn’t want to wait.  “We can always do it again, Mom!”  I thereby pulled out the materials and away we went.


The author states, “In this 15-page lesson plan, students learn how to draw a landscape focusing on perspective and space to create distance. Students use chalk and oil pastels to draw arches, hoodoos and cacti. Using the vibrant colors of the Southwest, children observe through photographs the rock formations and draw their own landscape.”   This was indeed true!  The author does an excellent job describing key vocabulary (Horizon Line, Foreground, and Background.

The America’s Southwest Landscapes is available as a PDF for $5.  The program includes three handouts (coloring pages), full color photo-tutorials, and a gallery of student work.  Essentially it is only one art lesson; the technique for teaching and drawing is the same for both Arches and Bryce Canyon, but the drawing is slightly different.  While I think this is a good value, I would have liked to see handouts or examples for the Grand Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and perhaps the Colorado River as well to provide a more complete picture of America’s Southwest Landscapes.


I was not compensated for this review.  I purchased the PDF myself because it appealed to me and it fit our current curriculum.  The opinion shared here is honest and is solely my own.

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