Van Gogh’s Sunflowers ~ Art Appreciation Lesson

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

We looked at several images of his sunflowers online and in several art books featuring his most famous paintings. Once again, like our Van Gogh Irises lesson, I used flowers from my garden.   I set up a still life of sunflowers that had grown in my garden during summer.  The girls knew these flowers well!

Sunflower still life

Van Gogh has such a wonderful colourful style, full of swirls, dashes of paint and thick 3D stokes of colour.

Next we sketched the table line, vase outline and large flowers, petals, leaves and stalks.

Sketching sunflowers

Then we outlined the drawing with grey oil pastels.  I decided to use oil pastels for their rich, vibrant colour and thick opacity.  We coloured the flowers and vases, table-cloth and background using short strokes, creating swirls and dashes of colours. Then we intensified the colour by adding various shades and tones of that colour in between the spaces.  These were our finished results!

All our pictures ready for the “gallery”!

The girls loved this art project because it didn’t have to “come out perfectly.”  After studying his life story we recorded biographical details (using my Famous Impressionist Artists Chart.

We can’t wait for next week’s van Gogh art appreciation time… will we do “Starry Night”  or “The Bedroom” ?

Here are some sites that were very helpful with ideas, colouring pages and lesson plans:

4 thoughts on “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers ~ Art Appreciation Lesson

  1. Hi Nadene,

    I wanted to let you know that I am linking to this entry from my July Newsletter which is featuring sunflowers. Your art idea is a perfect complement to the nature study activities.

    Thanks for the wonderful ideas and images.


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