INSPIRED BY FLORENCE McGILLIVRAY – Tom Thomson, Canadian Artists

Students compare and contrast paintings by Florence McGillivray and Tom Thomson, and then use what they learn to paint a personally significant landscape of their own.

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INSPIRED BY FLORENCE McGILLIVRAY – Tom Thomson, Canadian Artists


  • Crayola Acrylic Paint - 6 Count
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Water Containers - 1 per student
  • Paper Towels
  • Masking Tape
  • Plastic Place Mats - 1 per student


Step 1
  1. Use the worksheet to carefully examine the painting, Afterglow, by Florence McGillivray.
    - What do you notice about the colours?
    - Describe what she does with colours, for example, the number of colours in the sky.
    - What kind of brushstrokes does she use? How do you think she uses the brush?
    - How has she composed the picture?
    - How would you describe it in mathematical terms, for example, geometric shapes, fractions, horizontal, vertical?
    - How has she used line and pattern in the painting?
    - How does her use of line affect the overall feeling in the painting?
Step 2
  1. Fold a piece of paper into quarters.
  2. Cut a viewfinder out of a small piece of paper about 6 cm x 9 cm.
  3. Place the viewfinder over one section of the painting.
  4. Paint what you see paying attention to how Florence McGillivray used colour, texture and brushstrokes, for example,
    - flat, textured brushstrokes
    - layering tints and shades of one colour
    - making shapes and outlining them with loose, organic lines
    - layering contrasting colours on top of each other
  5. Move the viewfinder to a new section of the painting and paint what you see.
  6. Repeat this until you have done something different in all 4 sections of the paper.
Step 3
  1. Choose a photograph of a place that is special to you, for example, the beach near your grandmother's house.
  2. Make several thumbnail sketches of the scene, organizing the space so that it has one third sky, one third middle ground and one third foreground.
  3. Use your device to crop the composition in various ways.
  4. Follow the rule of thirds to place vertical objects in the composition.
  5. Choose the composition you like the best.
Step 4
  1. Tape the paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. Make sure the tape is straight and runs parallel to the outer edges of the paper.
  3. Let Florence McGillivray's style influence the way you paint the scene.
Step 5
  1. From time to time view the painting from a distance so you can see it with fresh eyes.
  2. When you are happy with everything, gently remove the tape.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Social Studies,

    • Visual Arts

  • Grades:

    • Grade 4,

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6,

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8,

    • Grade 9

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