Read Camille and the Sunflowers: a story about Vincent Van Gogh that is easily understood and enjoyed by students of all ages.
Show the students a picture painted by Van Gogh entitled “Sunflowers”.
Discuss how sunflowers are painted. The shapes of sunflowers, the colours, etc…
Cover the tables or desks with newspaper. Give each child a large piece of paper. Have various colours for painting available. I had orange, yellow, brown, and green available on each group of desks. Students then begin by painting the centre of the sunflower with brown. They then painted each of the petals, the stem, and the leaves. I encouraged my students to add details in the middle of the sunflower, on the brown section, and to put dabs of yellow or orange to show the seeds. Let it dry overnight.
I cut out the sunflowers with the help of a parent helper. I made a large bulletin board out of black paper (almost from floor to ceiling). I put a brown border around the outside (indicating a frame). I then cut out a large vase. Finally, I stapled and / or taped (tape on the back of the paintings) the paintings up on the bulletin board, starting from the vase and working my way out until the entire bulletin board was covered. There we had our own “Sunflowers” painting.
I printed a copy of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting from the Internet and added it to the bulletin board display. The students loved doing the project, the parents were impressed, and we received many compliments.
This suggestion was contributed by Lynne Hanley…
If you are thinking of studying Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, why not progress onto “Moonflowers” too?
After discussing Van Gogh’s original work in previous sessions, I split my class into 2. I gave one half the correct colours to make a beautiful sunflower picture and gave the other half a pallet of blue, white, purple, black and green. The children had to paint sunflowers using a “cold ” colour pallet. The finished work is always wonderful and makes a beautiful display.