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Shrink Art Landmarks

Lesson plan and artwork by Kathryn Cahill, Art Category Manager, Ohio and Michigan
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Lesson Plan
Grades 3-8
Sax Lesson Plans, Art
Sharpie, Prismacolor


This lesson focuses on recognizing important buildings in our communities. Themes such as “art landmarks”, “our favorite restaurants”, or “public buildings” could be used for display purposes and connections in group projects. A local area map and key is used to visualize the locations of each landmark. An image search is used, and the photograph of the landmark is printed and placed under matte shrink film for tracing and reproducing with alcohol based markers. Sharpie® and Prismacolor® brush tipped markers are used on the matte shrink art to provide professional looking color to the finished images.


  • Students will use technology to find photographs of important landmarks in their communities.
  • Students will trace the landmark and color in its features using Prismacolor® and Sharpie® brush tip markers.
  • Students will cut and shrink the matte shrink film in an oven, then attach hardware to the back.
  • Students will find the location of their landmark on the map and use the “shrink art landmark” to point out the important location.
  • Students will display final images in a group project with a central theme.


Supplies Needed

Prismacolor® Premier Brush-Fine Double-Ended Markers, Set of 24 1436348
Sharpie® Oil Based Paint Markers 1371759
Sharpie® Brush Tip Permanent Markers, Set of 12 1438024
Lyons® Stick-On Artist Canvas, 12" x 12", Pack of 3 1415210
Sax® Canvas Panels, 12" x 16" 412514
Sax® Canvas Panels, 8" x 10" 412499
Sax® Canvas Panels, 16" x 20" 412526
E6000 Glue, 3.7 oz 443195
7/16" Thumbtacks, Pack of 100 1369864
1/2" Thumbtacks, Pack of 100 200-6850
Sax® True Flow Acrylic Matte Medium, 1 Quart 442139
Grafix® Matte Shrink Film 8 1/2" x 11" inches, Pack of 50 401562


Content Standard #1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.
Content Standard #3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas.
Content Standard #4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.


Step 1

Talk about architecture and important landmarks in your community. Look at a variety of maps and read books that focus on map making and reading.

Step 2

Put together groups of students with topics like “fun places to go,” or “art landmarks” and allow them to make a list of the physical places. Have the students locate these on a map.

Step 3

Students complete image searches for photographs of the physical buildings on the computer. Print the images to about 5 x 7 inches.

Step 4

Tape an image underneath a half sheet of matte shrink film. The matte shrink film is translucent, so students can trace on top and color the image using Prismacolor® and Sharpie® brush tip markers. Write the name of the landmark by the colored reproduction.

Step 5

Cut the image out and bake plastic according to the instructions.

Step 6

When shrunk, the hardware can be glued on the back. For this project, I used tacks and because I wanted to put tacks on a map. were doing a fundraiser, it may be nice make pins, magnets, or even key chains these important landmarks! Just be sure to punch any holes before shrinking the film in the oven.

Step 7

Put together your finished project, including a map, shrink art landmark tacks, and any other materials, photographs, or information you have gathered.

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