I was looking through my archives from last year and came upon these beautiful sunflower drawings. This is a lesson I usually do with my third graders. We study, of course, Van Gogh's famous Sunflower series by looking at how he created the sunflowers, vase and even his name.
The children start off with an 12" x 18" light blue colored paper. If you don't have lengthy art classes, I suggest you trim the paper to a 10" x 15" size. A bit more manageable for artists who need longer to color their work.
I instruct the kids to draw the vase first (sides and bottoms only) then the centers of the flowers. Some centers are round, some are oval, some are little balls. The petals, leaves and stems come next. Last is the table line.
Using a variety of oil pastels (I don't limit them to the colors Van Gogh uses) the kids color away. This takes time and I keep encouraging the kids to color all the blue paper away. This takes some prodding for some kids who want to finis fast, but this lesson really looks wonderful when the kids put in the effort. The last stage 9and some of my students take a while before reaching this stage ) is to add a black line around every petal, leaf, flower center, and vase. Worth it, I think!
(Students from Foothill School 2006)
(Joyce from Mountain View 2006)