Asian Landscape Scroll

Asian Landscape Scroll lesson plan

Study the ancient art of Chinese scroll painting then create an original landscape painting mounted on printed framing paper.

  • 1.

    Explore information about Chinese scroll paintings, an art form used for at least 2,000 years. Many of these historic and contemporary paintings are imaginative landscapes. Others are animals, are used to honor leaders, or are created to teach proper behavior.

  • 2.

    Study the two styles of Chinese scrolls. Hanging scrolls are vertical and hand scrolls are horizontal. Hand scrolls are often unrolled to display one section at a time since some are very long. Notice how painted silk or paper is attached to a larger piece that frames and protects the painting and itself becomes part of the art.

  • 3.

    Decide whether to make a hanging or hand scroll. Think about a landscape design (mountains, beaches, trees, fields) to fit the shape of watercolor paper. Cover your work space with newspaper. Illustrate your scroll with Watercolor Paints.

  • 4.

    To block or sponge print a larger framing paper, pour Crayola Washable Paint into foam produce trays.

  • 5.

    <b>To block print:</b> Use a craft stick to carve designs out of another produce tray. Press the cut-out designs into the paint and lay them on newspaper with the painted side up. Press the background paper onto the wet designs and gently rub to print yo

  • 6.

    <b>To sponge paint:</b> Cut sponge pieces with Crayola Scissors. Dip sponges in paint and repeatedly press lightly but evenly onto the paper to print your design. Dry.

  • 7.

    Use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach the smaller drawing to the background piece.

  • 8.

    Paint two wooden dowels or craft sticks (each slightly longer than the background paper) using gold or black Crayola® Tempera Paint and Crayola® Paint Brushes. Dry.

  • 9.

    Use Crayola® School Glue to attach sticks to the front side at each end of the framing paper. Dry.


  • Students study Chinese scroll painting, an ancient art form which is still practiced today.
  • Students closely observe examples of Chinese scroll painting in hanging and hand scroll formats.
  • Students create artwork in the format of their choice, designing their scrolls in the ancient Chinese style.


  • Design the scroll with Crayola Watercolors. Learn some Chinese characters and add them to your art.
  • Scratch initials or personal symbols into rubber gum erasers to make personal seals or "chucks" which artists use to stamp their mark on their work. It was also common for Chinese painters to write a poem or comments on their scrolls. Friends and admirers
  • Chinese writing includes more than 50,000 characters which have remained the same for thousands of years. What other written languages have remained unchanged? What influences affect written languages?
  • The Chinese clearly distinguish between arts and crafts. Painting, poetry, and calligraphy are considered art. What makes a craft and what is an art?