Van Gogh’s Sunflowers ~ Art Appreciation Lesson

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

After studying his life story we recorded biographical details (using my Famous Impressionist Artists Chart.  Have you seen my Freebieoftheday post?  There are new pages for Impressionist Artist Studies – biography pages and minibook and lapbook bundle coming next week!)

We looked at prints of his works. We studied several art books and a coaster set featuring his most famous paintings.

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

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.

Drawing outlines in grey oil pastels

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!

Gorgeous Sunflowers by Miss K (10 years old)

Beautiful Sunflowers by Miss L (7 years old)

All our pictures ready for the "gallery"!

The girls loved this art project because it didn’t have to “come out perfectly.”  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:

Crafty Crow – Lovely sunflower  crafty ideas – for colouring in pages of masterpieces – Kathy Barbro has stunning ideas and practical applications of masterpieces (Have you seen her mural downloads?)

Web Gallery of Art – study paintings online – lovely detailed van Gogh colouring in pictures

Please sign up for an email notification or put my RSS feed on your homepage!  You’ll find this on my sidebar halfway down.  There’s lots more on coming up in the next few months!  I will be adding to my Famous Musicians bundle with minibooks and biography notebook pages and copywork pages soon!


2 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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