I have taught the same first day lesson for years. This year, I wanted to change things a bit so I introduced the students to Gutav Klimt in addition to my normal speech about elements of art and the different types of lines we can draw.
They were shown Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life painting and given a paper with an oval border already drawn. I showed them several different ways to draw trees. I told them their art should not look like their neighbors.
There were three requirements: a tree trunk, the leaves or canopy of the tree, and a horizon line to show the ground.
They of course needed shapes, and lines to create patterns. They could paint their trees however they chose to.