Van Gogh Flowers
Students can create this Van Gogh craft as they learn about the Impressionism painting style.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Supplement a lesson on art history with this Van Gogh craft of a vase of flowers on a table.
What You Need
- Examples of Van Gogh’s masterpieces
- 16-inch by 22-inch white construction paper
- Paper plates for palettes
- Blue, red, yellow, and white tempera paint
- 6-inch by 4-inch white construction paper
- Green construction paper in a variety of shades
- Tissue paper in warm color (red, yellow, orange, brown)
- 18-inch by 24-inch black construction paper
What You Do
Discuss Van Gogh and Impressionism
- Discuss the Impressionistic style of painting.
- Discuss how the Impressionists mixed their paints on the canvas, not on a palette.
- Show examples of Van Gogh’s masterpieces, as well as his Sunflower paintings. You can find these on the Internet. You could also have students explore the work of Van Gogh individually or in groups.
- To incorporate writing into this activity, encourage students to describe Van Gogh’s use of color or his technique.
Creating the Wall, or Background, of the Painting
- With a pencil, draw a line about two-thirds of the way down the 16-inch by 22-inch piece of white construction paper to indicate where the top of the table is.
- On a paper plate, pour small amounts of white, yellow, and blue tempera paint.
- Dip a paintbrush first in the white paint and then the yellow and paint the construction paper canvas above the pencil line. Use Van Gogh-like strokes: add small dabs of paint.
- While the white and yellow paint is still wet, dip the paintbrush in a small amount of blue paint and then apply to the canvas to make green hues.
- Repeat until the top half of the canvas is filled in.
Adding the Table to the Painting
- Pour small amounts red, yellow, and blue paint on a clean paper-plate palette.
- Dip the brush in red, then in yellow, and then in a bit of blue and, using Van Gogh-like strokes, dab the paint on the bottom-third of the canvas to create a brown table.
- Let the canvas dry.
Creating the Vase
- With a pencil, draw the outline of a vase on the 6-inch by 4-inch white construction paper. (Younger students may need a pattern.)
- From magazines, tear out small pieces of browns and yellows and glue them to the construction paper in a mosaic-like pattern.
- When the vase is covered, cut along the pencil line to create the finished vase.
- Glue the vase onto the table in the painted canvas.
- From green construction paper, cut star-shaped sunflower pods, stems, and leaves
- Layer five sheets of tissue paper in different colors.
- Cut sunflower shapes from the layered tissue paper.
- To assemble the sunflowers, first glue the star shaped sunflower pods, stems, and leaves on the painted canvas.
- Next glue the tissue paper sunflower shapes to the pods.
- To create centers for the sunflowers, crumple up scraps of tissue paper. Try to keep the flowers in 3-D and not flat.
Frame the Masterpiece
- Mount the masterpiece on the black construction paper.