Van Gogh for Kids: Starry Night

Van Gogh for Kids: Starry Night

Van Gogh created so many wonderful paintings. Sadly, he never achieved any success during his lifetime. He was blessed to have a brother named Theo who took care of him and supported him in his art. The students always enjoy talking about how he "cut his ear off" but I usually explain that he didn't cut the entire thing off, just a piece of his ear lobe. Unfortunately, Van Gogh had severe mental issues and one of the few refuges from that was his art.

Starry Night was a piece he considered "a nothing". He hated it! Little did he know how well-known this work of art would become, how it is synonymous with Van Gogh and Impressionism.

This project was inspired by Art Projets for Kids.

  • Give each student a sheet of Strathmore 9x12 Bristol Smooth Paper or Strathmore Watercolor Paper 9x12.
  • Hand out Pentel Arts Oil Pastels, preferably a range of blues, greens and yellows. Encourage the students to be loose with their strokes and they make shapes and colors on the top half of their paper. They can create swirls and circles just like Van Gogh.
  • Next step is to paint the background in a wash of blue. I really like this Sakura Watercolor Setbecause it comes with a brush. We chose cerulean blue for this project. Instruct students to paint a blue wash over the swirls and designs they just created with the oil pastels.
  • While the watercolor wash is drying, hand out Fiskars school scissors, Pacon 9 x 12 Construction Paper and white oil pastels. Encourage students to create their own city scape, varying the heights of the buildings and windows. Cut it out.
  • When the watercolor wash is completely dry, have students glue their cityscapes on the bottom half of that paper. Elmer's Washable All-Purpose School Glue Stick is best.
  • Sit back and enjoy your own Starry City Night.

The artwork above was created by a 2nd grader. I also had my daughter who is pre-K do this project and she did a great job, just needing some help with the designing and cutting the cityscape.

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