Friday, January 4, 2008

Van Gogh Sunflower Art Lesson in Oil Pastel

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)


Joy said...

I was searching for a lesson that used VanGogh's sunflowers for inporation and stumbled across your blog. I LOVE all of your ideas and projects and was immediately inspired to teach this lesson to my third graders and they loved it. The artwork turned out beautiful and I was impressed with the high level of success. Thank you for this site and for sharing your lessons.

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Joy!
Welcome to Deep Space Sparkle. Glad you like the projects. Most of them come from sources off the internet, from art teachers like you.
Personally, it helps me to have all my lessons formatted, but I'm glad it's helpful and inspiring for others.
If you have lessons to share...please send a link or give a brief description.
We could all use more ideas!

Hannah Castello said...

Hi! I came across your blog while searching for an art lesson on the net! I think that Van Gogh's sunflowers would make a great lesson for my kids! We'll make it tomorrow and I'll post some of their works in my blog one I find the time. Check out my site at most of my posts are art lessons I found in the net though.

Sebastian said...

What lovely results. I can't wait to try this with my kids.

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