Second Graders Explore Expressive Line with Vincent Van Gogh

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Starry Starry Night over Mt. Tamalpais, by Julia James
Second Graders at Mary Silveira School learned about the artist Vincent van Gogh and created their own version of his famous painting connecting it to the region in which they live.

Week One, Landscape Drawing

After drawing their landscape, students first painted the stars and moon

Using expressive lines, students experimented with short, long, thin and moving lines, which were then painted using tempera paint and a variety of brush sizes. Students also learned about shading when they added black to their other colors.

Expressive Lines include short, long, straight, wavy, dotted and swirling

Questions explored by the students included:
How do I draw the landscape I see, and what happens when the sky meets the land?
How can I use different lines to show emotion and movement in my art?
How many different types of line can we find or invent?

Adding sand and PVA glue to tempera paint adds texture

Painting the large areas first

Our second meeting was all about color when students painted their personal version of Starry Night.

The student added their own home on Mt. Tam to personalize their Starry Night

Details of swirls and wavy lines add energy to the painting

We explored the questions:
How can we use blue, purple, turquoise, and brown to create a night scene?
How can we use paint and a paintbrush to create movement?
How does adding a little black change the shade of the colors?
Giving students ample opportunity to stretch and explore lines, paint and color provided a fun and vibrant learning experience for all.

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