Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who is known for using vivid colors in his work, most notably, his famous sunflowers. Help your child create her own beautiful still-life masterpiece based on Van Gogh's sunflowers. This activity will help teach her how to cut, glue and add texture to her work of art while helping to build comparison concepts such as bigger and smaller, taller and shorter.
What You Do:
- Show your child a picture of Van Gogh’s painting, “Sunflowers” and talk about the different colors and textures in the painting with your child. Ask your child things like what shapes she sees in the painting and what the texture of the flower might feel like.
- Set your (11" x 17") sheet of red or blue paper vertically on a table. This will be the background for your child's Van Gogh inspired masterpiece!
- Help your child draw and cut out a rectangle to make the table that her Van Gogh vase will sit on. This can be up to 3 inches high and can be as wide as the width of the sheet of paper. Set your table piece aside.
- Have your child draw a vase in pencil on the yellow paper. Make sure the vase shape is big enough to fit the stems, and small enough so there is room for the flowers at the top of the paper.
- Then have your child cut the vase out of the paper, but don't glue it down just yet.
- Help your child cut out stems that will be tall enough to go into the paper vase, but short enough so there is room for the flower heads. Encourage your child to use Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" as inspiration while she's making her work of art.
- Ask your child to glue the table, vase and stems onto the background paper. Help her glue each object into place. Make sure to glue the stems down before the vase so they appear as if they are inside the vase.
- Have your child cut or tear the petals from the different colors of tissue. As you do this, talk with you child about the different kinds of shapes petals can be - triangles, ovals, rectangles etc.
- Once your child has enough petals, help her glue them onto her stems. She can leave the tips of the petals unglued to make her piece more three-dimensional.
- Have your child cut out a circle shape for the center of each flower she's made and glue it into place.
- Once your flower centers are in place, help your child spread a thin layer of glue onto the centers of her flowers and have your child sprinkle on beans, rice, glitter, sequins or beads (whatever she likes!) to create added texture on her still life. Set aside to dry.
- Once the piece is dry, have your child draw a white chalk outline along one side of the vase to create a highlight. This will give the impression of light and shadow in the piece.
- Hang up your new masterpiece!
Did You Know?
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter born in 1853. His works are some of the most famous and among the most expensive paintings in the world. During his lifetime, he only sold one work of art. And the majority of his best known paintings were all created within a only 29-month period of time.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.