Super Art Friday –Painting Sunflowers Like Van Gogh

My young artist and I have been learning about Vincent Van Gogh for the past 2 weeks.

We used these books:

Visiting Van Gogh from the Adventures in Art series by Prestel.

I like it because it has large, full page pictures of his paintings.

Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt is a wonderful picture book about Van Gogh.  This book is perfect if you would like to avoid any reference to Van Gogh’s mental illness/suicide.

This next book is small but thorough: Vincent Van Gogh by Sean Connoly, is a biography with lots of details about Van Gogh’s life plus pictures of lesser known paintings.

Finally, the Van Gogh Art Activity Pack, by Mila Boutan, is a great resource.  It comes with a full color book about Van Gogh’s techniques,  activity book with blank pages and prompts, and a large outline poster of The Church of Auvers-sur-Ooise to paint.

For our Friday art project, I assigned my young artist to pick one of Van Gogh’s paintings to copy.

She chose sunflowers.

We used a page from the Prestel book as a reference.

She sketched it out in pencil and then started to paint. I could tell right away that she was ‘coloring’, not painting.

I encouraged her to loosen up and not worry about filling each flower with solid color.

The composition was tricky for her, but I thought she did a  great job placing her flowers.

And the little guy is always marching to the beat of a different drummer, but that’s OK!

Now it’s really coming along!


Yay for beautiful sunflowers!  When our kitchen flowers fade away, we’ll still have this lovely painting to enjoy.

Hope you have a lovely weekend,



11 thoughts on “Super Art Friday –Painting Sunflowers Like Van Gogh

  1. I saw the painting on the mantel and loved it and so glad to hear about the road to get the product. She is her mother’s daughter-talented.

  2. This reminds me of all of our art days when our oldest were Sveva’s age !
    Such sweet memories. Beautiful painting Sveva ! You inspire me!

  3. I LOVE THIS post so much! What a cool Mommy you are! Love that you had all the reference books, that you had a painting session and that it was all so beautifully documented. Really beautiful work from the little ones too! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea, xoxo

  4. Stunning; I love what she made! How sunshine happy these flowers are and will be when the months darken and flowers fade! I love this lesson 😀
    It reminds me of a fence I once painted with sunflowers…so cheery and full of welcome~ Thanks for sharing inspiration~xo

  5. Great job, Sveva! You are going to be such a fabulous artist since you have gotten to practice your art early in life. I am always amazed at how well you do already!

  6. @Sue –Thank you, I love these days, too! Wouldn’t trade them! And since I don’t really have time to scrapbook like I used to, posting about our projects ensures I’ll have the pictures to look back on. Thanks for stopping by, Sue, and have a great weekend!

    @Sandi –Thanks, yep she’s always super proud when we display her artwork in the living room..just on a little stand. Thanks for visiting!

    @Lesley — Thanks, I really do hope these projects will lead to her pursuing creativity on her own….only time will tell, but the signs are good so far! She reads all the comments on here so thanks for encouraging her!

    @kathy –You are a huge encouragement to all the kids in their different pursuits and especially S. and her art, she’s blessed to have you Grammy!

    @Jeana –Oh, I know it!! It brings back memories for me, too…such fun times! Can’t get a paintbrush in M’s hand anymore, unless it’s some app on the iPad!! :) Thanks so much!

    @kristin –Thank you so much and I guess I’ll just have to wait on joining Paint Party Friday…she looks forward to our art projects on Fridays soooooo much so I’ll just keep painting and crafting with my little artist for now…unless you think she could join? (Paint Party Junior? ) lol! Thanks, Kristin!

    @Ella –Sunflowers are so cheery, aren’t they? Bet you fence was so pretty!! We try to grow some every summer but this summer was tooooo dry with the drought. Thanks so much!

    @Anna –Lol, yep messes are a bit of a stress factor for me, so letting them paint is ‘therapy’ to keep my OCD balanced! lol…it’s worth it! I appreciate you stopping by!

    @Floy –Thanks Floy, she looooves reading comments about her art, thanks for leaving a sweet comment for her….she really enjoys doing her own thing much more than these ‘assignments’ but I think it’s good practice. :)

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