We enjoyed another delightful Van Gogh Art Appreciation activity which is suitable for young children and middle schoolers!
I saved the image and used it as a screen saver on our computer. This is a good way to see the image often during the week. Also, we could zoom in and really look at his brushstrokes, colours and details full-sized.
Next I traced the Van Gogh Starry Night outline – click the link for your free pdf download. (Read about how I trace outlines of famous art works here.)
I used the outline to save the girls time copying the drawing or using a grid, because there is so much detail in the picture and I wanted to spend the lesson time coloring and painting instead.
We used oil pastels. First the girls coloured only the white and yellow areas on the white outline page with oil pastels. This was not easy because you can’t see white on white! And it had to be coloured in little strokes like Van Gogh’s.
Finding and filling all the white and yellow areas
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!
Washing the page with black water-colour
Now the girls started to fill in areas. They filled in the rest of the picture with all the blues, greens and other colors, using several different types of oil pastels; some thick and greasy, others with many shades of colours. We all pressed hard to make thick, short stokes on the paper. 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!
The dark greens, blacks and greys of the Cyprus tree
Swirling blues, whites and greys of the sky
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!
Van Gogh’s Starry Night by Miss K, 10 years old
Van Gogh’s Starry Night by Miss L 7 years old
Here are some links I used to prepare this lesson:
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