Near & Far


Puzzled about how to draw realistic landscapes? Experiment with Crayola® Washable Window Washable Markers or Crayola Window Crayons and try some perspective-drawing tricks!


1. Did you ever notice how realistic some landscape paintings look? One method for creating realistic depth (also known as perspective) is to show the comparative sizes of objects as you see them. Look closely at any landscape or cityscape painting or photograph. Notice that objects that are closer to you seem larger than those that are far away. The closer objects overlap objects in the distance, too.

2. Look at the painting Picnic by the Lake by Thomas P. Rossiter, one of the painters of the Hudson River School, or a similar landscape. Compare the sizes of the trees in the foreground to the trees in the background. The background trees are overlapped by, and duller, than the foreground trees. The dulling is called "atmospheric perspective" and is due to the density of the air between the viewer and the background.

3. To make your own landscape drawing, in perspective, find a window that has an interesting view. Secure any curtains or shades so they're out of the way, and make sure the window is closed and locked. Use Crayola Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons to trace the objects you see from the window. Be sure to show the overlapping of objects in the front, and smaller size of objects in back.

4. For an extra effect, add color and pattern to the parts of the foreground that you find most interesting. This will bring out your focal point (center of interest) and make your drawing come alive. Use a slightly damp paintbrush to blur the edges of images in the background. The marker colors wipe off windows with a damp paper towel.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Windows—Be sure windows are securely closed and locked before decorating. An adult must closely supervise the activity.


  • Use a transportable window frame or a sheet of clear acrylic to study various landscapes using this technique. Display finished drawings with a light shining on them from behind for an interesting neon effect.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Window Markers
  • Window Crayons
household supplies
  • paper towels
  • container(s) of water
  • window



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Students learn about relative size comparisons in landscape drawings that show perspective.

  • Students recognize the size differences between objects that are near and far in their picture plane.

  • Students observe details of a landscape as they represent it in a window.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards