We enjoyed another delightful Van Gogh Art Appreciation activity!
We chose the “Starry Night” and I used the image on christineparkdesign.com because we could zoom in and really look at his brushstrokes, colours and details.
I drew a Van Gogh Starry Night outline for the girls (to save time) and although it seemed like a colouring-in picture, there was so much detail for them to put into the picture, that I didn’t want to use most the time copying the drawing off a print-out using a grid.
First the girls coloured only the white and yellow areas on the white outline page with oil pastels. (This was not easy – you can’t see white on white! And it had to be coloured in little strokes like Van Gogh’s.) We used oil several different types of pastels; some thick and greasy, others with many shades of colours, all pressed hard to make thick stokes on the paper.
Then we washed the page with black water-colour. This was to have a dark background between the little strokes and to give a night-time feel to the picture. The white and yellow moon, stars and windows really stood out!
Now the girls started to fill in areas. They sat at the computer, zoomed in and really looked to see what colours Van Gogh used. This took some time, but already they were happy with their art as it began to look more and more like the masterpiece!
All done, in just an hour or so! They really appreciated how long Van Gogh must have worked on this masterpiece, how many colours he dabbed on the canvas and how these colours created movement and mood. They loved this lesson!
Here are some links I used to prepare this lesson:
artprojectsforkids.org – Kathy Barbro’s delightful art lesson ideas!
vangoghmuseum.nl – colouring pages of several of van Gogh’s masterpieces. (I drew my own of the “Starry Night”)
Web Gallery of Art – for pictures of masterpieces