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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Van Gogh Sunflowers

My first graders are learning about European artists in preparation for arts in school night. We are in the middle of a great Vincent Van Gogh unit. There are some wonderful books out there like Van Gogh and the Sunflowers, and Starry Night. In this unit we explore Van Goghs tragic life history and what techniques he used in his art. We then create a still life of flowers in the same composition style as His famous sunflower painting. I encourage students to draw the flowers "floating at the top of the page, then draw the vase/container, then the stems. (This keeps them from drawing long skinny stalk like flowers). Then we outline in glue, which adds texture(similar to van Goghs use of texture). The next class is used to add finishing colors with oil and chalk pastels. It's a great lesson for learning pastel techniques & I always love the results!