Art that features the landscape is not only one of the most popular artistic forms, it is understood to be one of the most therapeutic too. Pictures of soaring mountains, green valleys, flowing rivers, open skies, and beautiful clouds not only reconnect us with the natural world but lower our levels of anxiety, reduce stress, and stimulate positive mental health. Landscape art can be either representational (showing things in a realistic way) or more abstract (see A), emphasising the colours, patterns and shapes you can find in nature. A good example is ‘Going up Garrowby Hill’ by David Hockney, who has been making landscape paintings for many years.

Alfred Sisley, The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring, 1875

Alfred Sisley, The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring, 1875


Let’s use ‘Going up Garrowby Hill’ to make a David Hockney inspired landscape. You can find the artwork on the David Hockney Foundation website. First, look at the painting to locate the following elements that make up the landscape. These are the horizon (separating the land and sky), the windy road, the patchwork of fields and the trees dotted across the land. You will also see that each of the fields contains patterns (dots, dashes, and tufts like grass) or curved and wavy lines to emphasise the rolling hills. On a sheet of drawing paper, draw as many examples of these marks as you can with a pencil for reference. On a sheet of watercolour paper, use your Sharpie to draw in each of the following, the horizon, the road, the patchwork of fields and finally the trees. Now use the coloured wax crayons to add the patterns and lines to each of your fields in turn – use different colours for each field. Remember to use a white crayon to add some clouds. Once you have finished, use some very watery paint to first colour the sky (blue) and then each of your fields, painting over your wax crayon lines. Use paint colours that are different from the wax crayons you used for each field. You will see that the wax is resisting the paint, creating a similar effect to the original painting. Finish off by painting in the trees and the windy road.


  • Drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Thick paper / Watercolour paper
  • Black ‘Sharpie’ pens
  • Coloured wax crayons or oil pastels
  • Watercolour paints
  • Water pots


You may like to do this activity with someone to help you. Look at some landscapes by the artists below. Think about how each artist has made each artwork and how each of them makes you feel.

Artist Inspiration: Alfred Sisley’s ‘The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring’, Yokoyama Taikan’s ‘Summer: Four Seasons of Sacred Mt. Fuji’, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s ‘Autumn Landscape’, Pieter Bruegel’s ‘Hunters in the Snow (Winter)’.