Starry Night Inspired Paintings

Teaching Art

With the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition in town, I wanted to do a Van Gogh inspired artwork with Year 2 students before visiting on our field trip. Combining several different techniques and ideas from Instagram and the amazing group of art educators I follow, I came up with a winner of lesson.

Working large, students used A2 sized black paper and began making lines using a fork and acrylic paint. I provided a few different tints and shades of blue and white. With an emphasis on lines, students looked at Van Gogh’s Starry Night to guide them in how to create movement using the lines with the fork.

For the next lesson, students used purple, white and blue oil pastels to add more lines in between the printed fork lines. Then providing gold, white and yellow acrylic paint, students started adding stars, a moon and the iconic lines around each to create a glow-like effect.

For the final lesson, students used a variety of green painted and patterned paper to create the foreground. Then they used more painted paper to cut and add houses and other buildings. Lastly, students using Posca paint makers to add additional lines on top of the green patterned paper and details to the houses i.e. windows, doors and designs.

This lesson allows every students to be successful by creating a beautiful work and making their own connection to one of the more famous works of art in the world AND they got to use gold paint which is always a crowd pleaser!

Oldenburg’s Plates of Food

Teaching Art

Pop art is a great way to get students excited about art history and appreciation. What child doesn’t appreciate a giant banana peel or a humungous slice of cake, right!?

So, for a sculpture project, students created plates of food inspired by the artwork of pop artist, Claes Oldenburg.

Each table was delegated a different meal or dish – breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. After a demonstration of construction tips, students began building the food they wanted to make using cardboard, newspaper and masking tape.

The following week students used toilet paper, newspaper strips and paper mache to build up areas as well as cover and smooth seams. Now, I must warn you, if you live in a humid climate, the flour and water saturated toilet paper will begin to smell, attract fruit flies and potentially mould over, but it will dry eventually, I promise!

Once dried, students can paint the base colours of the food and the following week they can paint details and add other materials such a felt, plastic sheeting and yarn to add toppings and texture. Lastly, I helped students to glue their food items on to a paper plate to secure them properly.

Bon appetite and cheers to you Claes!