The Ontario Curriculum of Visual Arts for grades 1 and 2 encourages the exploration of lines, colour, and a variety of media with which to create art. For one of my lessons created on the remote teaching platform, I thought students would enjoy a break from math and literacy to create a little and work with paint.
After asking them to watch some videos – in French – on the life and art of Vincent van Gogh, I asked my students to use the painting titled Starry Night as an inspiration for their own night scene.
In order to determine whether the project was possible, I decided to do a painting of my own. I laid out my materials for the project: acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a jar of water, a pencil, a sheet of card stock, a plastic fork, and a copy of Van Gogh’s painting.
For my first step, I lightly penciled in what I wanted to paint. I looked to the original painting for inspiration, knowing that I would not be able to copy the original exactly.
To recreate the lines seen as in the original painting, I used a plastic fork. For the lines to show up, I noticed that I had to layer the paint thickly onto the card.
I painted section by section and then used the fork in specific areas before the paint dried.
I enjoyed the activity and found it calming. I am hoping that the children I work with will find it calming as well – especially those who enjoy creating art with paint.
I like the effect of using the fork on the painting and am now thinking of other ways in which my students can practice this technique.
The acrylic paint is a bit sticky to use – or maybe it is because the paint I had was a little dry. The next time I do this activity (hopefully when in the classroom), I will attempt the task with tempura paint. It would be interesting to make a comparison and to see which medium is more effective.
My final product is not bad for a first attempt though it it nowhere near to what my daughters (who are art students) would produce.
I now look forward to seeing what my students create.
Have you attempted to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020