Vincent van Gogh | Star Bright, Starry Night
from the Lesson Zone Index
Students will be introduced to the art of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, by being introduced to his art, and then by creating their own masterpiece after his work. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.
Cardstock or Medium Weight Paper
Oil or Tempra Paints
Tell students, "We will be learning about Vincent van Gogh's unique painting style, and then each of you will recreate his Starry Night yourself. We will spend the next 3 or 4 art classes on this project, working on your painting in sections. Each time we meet we will talk about what you see, and then paint it."
Tell students, "Today will focus on the sky. Vincent van Gogh's approach to painting the sky is very unique and energetic."
Ask students, "Who can describe how Vincent van Gogh painted the sky?" Answers: swirls, short brush strokes, various shades of blue.
Tell students, "I will show you how to paint one of the swirls, and then you will spend the rest of the class period completing the sky." Paint example.
Tell students, "Now it's your turn. Begin by taking a piece of paper from the center of the table. With a pencil, draw the contour of the mountain range. This line will define the bottom edge of the sky. When you have completed this step you may begin painting."
Tell students, "This is our second day working on our Starry Night painting. Last time we observed that Vincent van Gogh painted his sky with large swirls, short brush strokes, various shades of blue. Today we will focus on completing the mountain range and the trees."
Ask students, "Who can describe how Vincent van Gogh painted the mountains?" Answers: contours outlined with long black strokes, short brush strokes fill mountains, various shades of blue.
Tell students, "Now it's your turn. Begin by painting the basic shape of the tree and the contour of the mountain range, and then fill in the details."
Tell students, "This is our third day working on our Starry Night painting. We have observed that Vincent van Gogh painted Starry Night in a very painterly style, with short brush strokes and many variations on the same colors."
Tell students, "Today you will work to complete your painting. You should begin by sketching the township with your pencil, and then paint it. When you complete the township, you may spend the rest of the time with details that you may have missed in other sections of the painting."
As the students paint, you can quiz them with questions about Vincent van Gogh, or about his painting style and how they are applying what they know to their recreation of Starry Night.