Art School | Urban Landscape
We’ve discussed what a collage is in a previous Art School lesson here, but in review it’s an art technique where we glue/assemble different items to create something new. Today we are going to create a cityscape. A cityscape is what we call an urban landscape. When we think of landscape we think of things you would find on land: mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, etc. But a cityscape would be full of things you find in a city, usually buildings or skyscrapers of all different shapes and sizes.
Depending on your child’s age, this would be a good lesson to dig deeper with older children exploring skyscrapers and their history. My 5th grader is a huge skyscraper admirer, every passion project he is assigned will somehow circle back to a famous skyscraper. A skyscraper is a tall building usually designed to be inhabited for office or commercial use. There is no minimum height or maximum height for a building to be called a skyscraper. You will often find elements of steel, concrete and glass in skyscrapers. If you’d like to examine a well-known skyscraper with your child, a few suggestions are:
Empire State Building- New York City
Home Insurance Building- Chicago (first steel framed skyscraper)
Seven Sisters- Moscow
World Trade Center- New York City
Taipei 101- Taiwan
Petronas Towers- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you choose a building to learn more about, be sure to check out some library books on it, pour over photos you find on the Internet, learn about the architect/designer. There’s really so much to learn from even just ONE of these buildings. For an overall introduction, I would recommend the book Skyscraper by Lynn Curlee.
Supplies: watercolor paper, watercolors, brush, water, construction paper (black or gray/variety of other colors), glue stick
For our project you will want to have your child begin by painting the backdrop for our cityscape. With the paper lying horizontal paint in 1-2 inch strips, each strip painted a different color. Once painted completely, set it aside to dry.
In the meantime, have your children cut out from the black/grey construction paper a few building outlines. We’ve chosen black and gray to represent the steel and concrete of the buildings. To do this they can use a white crayon or just scissors to roughly cut out a shape. Try and encourage them to use different roof angles, and different heights for each of their buildings. Once they have cut out a few, they can lay their buildings down on the watercolor paper and see how they’d like to position them, or if they need to cut out anymore.
Once they are satisfied with where their buildings are, they can secure them with gluesticks.
The other colored construction paper will now be used to cut out windows for these buildings. Be sure to remind your child, or have a skyscraper book nearby, and point out the different sizes of windows, along with their varying shapes/color. Once they have cut out a nice amount of windows they can start gluing them onto their skyscrapers.
When their cityscape is complete they can stand back and admire their own urban landscape.