EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes

Students explore texture and space using masking tape, washable paint, markers and oil pastels to create miniature landscapes.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 9


Art Techniques


contrast emphasis foreground mixed media space texture


Crayola Oil Pastels - 16 Count Crayola Washable Paint Crayola Fine Line Markers Crayola Paint Brushes Masking Tape Cardstock Paper - 7.6 cm x 15.2 cm (3" x 6") Water Containers Paper Towels

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EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step One

Step One

  1. Tear strips of masking tape to create rough edges and different widths.
  2. Stick the tape to the cardstock paper in a random, horizontal pattern.
  3. Fill most of the space with tape.
  4. Leave a few uncovered areas to add to the variety of textures.
EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Colour loosely over the tape with oil pastels.
  2. Use the back of your thumb or a small piece of sponge to blend the colours together.
EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Cover the whole surface with washable paint.
  2. Use a complementary colour for greater contrast.
EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use a wet brush to remove some of the paint.
  2. Each time you paint into the surface use a piece of paper towel to dry off the brush, and then wet it again with clean water for the next stroke.
EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Play with the surface using water and paint.
  2. Let the textures of the tape tell you where to place hills and valleys.
  3. Emphasize shapes to make them into trees by painting directly into them.
EXPLORING MIXED MEDIA – Textured Landscapes - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Add details with oil pastels, marker and paint.
  2. Build up layers of colour and texture gradually.
  3. Keep playing with colour until you feel satisfied with the image.
  4. Add contrasting areas to make things in the foreground stand out. 


Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a mixed media landscape;
  • use different textures to add variety to their work;
  • use contrast to create areas of emphasis;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • explore other mixed media techniques using the Setting the Scene lesson plan available on this website;
  • apply what they have learned in a large mixed media work on a theme of their choosing;
  • share their ideas with their peers.



  1. Gather plastic placemats one for each student.
  2. Gather the required art materials and place them in baskets for easy distribution.
  3. Place students into small groups so they can share materials.
  4. Prepare a large piece of paper with masking tape to use for demonstrating the various steps in the process.
  5. Download and display the Space and Texture posters available on this website.
  6. Download some images from the Internet, for example,


  1. Examine several of the landscape images and the Space poster.
  2. Point out foreground, middle ground and background as well as the use of colour and textures.
  3. Discuss mixed media and show several examples of artworks made in this way.
    - talk about how some artists use more than one medium in a single artwork
    - ask students to consider why they would do this
  4. View the Texture poster and discuss the difference between real and simulated textures.
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a mixed media landscape.
  2. Use different textures to add variety to your work.
  3. Use contrast to create areas of emphasis.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  5. Explain your process.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas to create a mixed media landscape
    - used torn masking tape to create texture
    - used a variety of media to create contrast
    - created the landscape with care
    - explained my process
  3. Demonstrate how to tear the tape.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work.
  6. Encourage them to share and expand on each other's ideas as they explore the materials.  
  7. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - compare their work and describe to each other what they did to get certain effects;
    - talk about how and why they might use this technique in other art projects;
    - talk about what was difficult and what was easy for them.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the artworks – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - MixedMediaLandscapes_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - MixedMediaLandscape_self-assessment.pdf)