Sunday, June 9, 2013

Friday Five: Appreciating Van Gogh's works

Photo source: Van Gogh Gallery

I've always loved paintings by Van Gogh, especially the daring strokes of paint and his use of bold colours. Here are five ways you and your kid could appreciate his works better:

:: Read books about the painter and his masterpieces:
To learn more about the painter, try "Van Gogh and the Sunflowers", by Laurence Anholt (we are great fans of the Anholt Artist Series!). For a lighthearted introduction to some of his paintings, you could read "Katie and the Sunflowers", or "Katie and the Starry Night", by James Mayhew. 

:: Try your hand making a little book about Van Gogh:
You can find a printable here for a little book on Van Gogh, along with some pictures on his works your child could colour. 

:: Explore photographs of Van Gogh's works:
Read more about Van Gogh over at the Van Gogh Gallery. You could also try printing out some of his works and paste them up on the wall for a gallery walk with your child!

:: Let your child try his hand at painting:
Here's one simple version of Van Gogh's Starry Night that even the little ones could try. Or if you have a budding artist who would like to try his hand at painting, HeART Studio is running a sunflower painting class for the three to four year olds during this June holiday period (click here for details).

Photo source: The Educators' Spin on It

:: Try your own hand at painting, Van Gogh style:
Recently, I was able to try my hand at painting, Van Gogh style, as part of the Singapore Mom Bloggers' first anniversary celebrations. We had a lovely session sponsored by HeART Studio, where our instructors, Syafiq and Elma guided us in painting our own version of "Sunflowers".   

We were taught how to sketch the outlines on canvas...

... how to mix the various paints to get colours like brown...

... and how to fill in the different parts of the painting using short brushstrokes, while alternating between slightly varying shades.

I must admit it was hard work, and tiring to sit there painstakingly layering paint on that canvas. And it really helped me to appreciate how difficult it is to produce those masterpieces that you see hanging in art galleries! Also, I thought it was pretty amazing that the teachers actually manage to guide three to four year olds into painting something similar during their art classes. 

Tiredness aside, I think we all had fun! Our teachers patiently went around guiding us, and giving us useful tips, like how to add shadows and depth, and texture to the flowers. 

We were given free reign in what colours we wanted to use, so everyone's painting looked different!

And after two plus hours of work, this was how my painting looked like:

I really enjoyed the session and I think I might just try my hand at painting again (if I ever find the time!). It was good to have some time off from the kids, and relaxing to sit there and see the painting slowly take shape! Meanwhile, for those of you who might be interested, HeART Studio conducts adult canvas classes to teach basic art sketching to canvas art (they require only two people to start a class). The studio also offers art classes to children from three to 12 years old (details over at their website).

Mum in the Making


1 comment:

  1. Nice! Introducing Van Gogh to little kids definitely makes an impression for impressionism.
    Love your list and would love to add one of my fav song that goes "Starry, Starry night..." by Don McLean. Perhaps a little sad but it's kinda tough to be all cheery with van gogh so i suppose it shld be fine for kids (I hope, yet to try though). ;)



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