What do you get when you combine an art DVD, Pat Knepley, oil pastels, Vincent van Gogh, art history, and the Bible? This answer is the Sunflowers Art Project from See the Light. This fun art project contains four lessons and guides a student towards producing a work of art worth framing.
The best part is you don’t have to do any teaching and your children will ask to have art today.
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Each time I am blessed with doing a review for See the Light I think the art project is my favorite. This is true for this one as well. There is something about Vincent van Gogh and his paintings that touch my heart. Maybe it is his personal struggles in finding what God wanted for his life that is all too familiar to me.
Pat Knepley, the art instructor for this project tells about Vincent van Gogh’s life. She explains how he came about in discovering his artistic gift and that he completed 900 paintings in a ten-year span. van Gogh was a missionary at one point in his life. During that time, he created drawings and exchanged them for food.
You may already know he had mental health issues. But did you know while he was a patient in a hospital, he continued painting? The famous Starry Night was the result. That painting has become quite famous and sold for $39,000,000! What would Vincent van Gogh think of that since he only sold one painting during his lifetime?
Age and Time Involvement
The Sunflowers Art Project is suitable for ages 10+. The DVD lessons are about 25 minutes in length, but you may want to set aside about 45 minutes to one hour for completing each lesson.
Here is a list of the materials you will need:
An 11″ X 14″ sheet of pastel or charcoal paper in tan, gray, or light blue
A set of oil pastels
Paper towels or paper napkins
Several artificial sunflowers
Baby wipes to clean hands
Lesson one is about planning the project and applying the first layer of color. We so happened to have sunflowers and a red vase, which is what Pat uses in the lesson. My daughter and I took apart one of my flower arrangements and placed the sunflowers in the vase according to how she wanted to do her drawing.
The key to creating this art project in the style of Vincent Van Gogh is to use short thick strokes when applying color. Pat guides the student in how to do just that with using oil pastels. She also offers tips on how to care for the oil pastels.
The Bible verse for this lesson is Proverbs 19:21
Lesson 2 is when the layering begins. Pat explains how to layer each color rather than completing the project like one would with a coloring page. A student will learn how to create the illusion of foliage and how to give the vase a 3-D effect.
Pat encourages the student to put things back nice and neat. I really like her for saying that. My daughter was able to hear it from an artist and not just mom.
Pat shares another Bible verse (Matthew 13:43). I enjoy how she correlates a biblical principle in relation to Vincent Van Gogh’s life.
Additional history on van Gogh’s life is shared in lesson 3. You may learn even more about his life and view his paintings at vangoghgallery.com.
Lesson 3 is when the project takes on more life after filling in the negative spaces in the drawing. The blue background shows off the bright colors in the sunflowers and vase.
A student will apply the final touches in lesson four with creating the illusion of shadows and highlights. Using the white oil pastel really makes a difference in giving the drawing a real life look to it.
Using the layering effect is what makes this project fun to do and watch. It is fascinating to see the changes occurring by adding a small amount of color to a petal when it already looks nice. The added color gives the drawing more definition.
What do you think of my daughter’s drawing? She showed her completed project to her grandmother who is an accomplished artist. Grandma was quite impressed and wanted to know more about See the Light.
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See the Light graciously provided me with a free copy of the Sunflower Art Project in exchange for an honest review. Please read the disclaimer shown below content.
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