Cycle 2 Week 14- Gainsborough’s Fanciful Landscapes

Though Thomas Gainsborough’s landscapes might appear simply realistic to us, they have a dream-like, dramatic quality to them.  It is said that he even created them at home using pebbles, twigs, and even broccoli to create mini dioramas.  The images were very much from inside his own head.

For this project, the students will create their own imaginary scene.  Just like Gainsborough’s, it will be realistic yet wondrous.  Waterfalls?  Rainbows?  Babbling brooks with ferns and foliage?  Erupting volcanoes?  The students get to be as creative and unrestrained as they choose.

Thomas Gainsborough often included portraits in his landscapes, and this project includes the option for students to add people.  Because completing any art project within half an hour is a feat, this part is included last.  If students do it in class, wonderful!  If not, let them complete it at home.



heavyweight paper

tempera paints

paintbrushes of various sizes

palettes or paper plates

clean-up items: cups, water, paper towels, tablecloths

regular drawing paper

markers and/or colored pencils




After looking at Gainsborough’s work, students will imagine and paint their own landscapes.


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