I had my middle school students do a project I called Landscape Escape. They had to set a simple geometric shape approximatel 1/4 the size of the page in the center of the picture plane. They had to use simple branching to create a forest emphasizing foreground/middleground/background and comprising a cool color scheme. They had to fill the central space with imagery that would contrast the landscape in at least three ways. This student created contrast by using a warm color vs. cool, animal vs. plant, and domestic vs. wild. I like it.
By the way, this is the work of a special ed student who suffers with Autism. He absolutely loves to draw and he loves his dogs.