September 27

GRADE 3 SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS

These stunning sunflower paintings were created by the Grade 3 students after they looked at the sunflower paintings and drawings created by Vincent Van Gogh.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

I found some images online from Vincent Van Gogh’s sketchbooks and I always show these to the students to reinforce how important their art journals are in the process of creating their artworks.

secretmuseum_vangogh2

secretmuseum_vangogh2

The students also looked at photos of sunflowers which grew outside our grade 5 classrooms earlier this year

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

and at photos inside a magnificent book by David Douglas Duncan titled ‘Sunflowers for Van Gogh’.

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

I was lucky to stumble across this lovely book for $3 at the Salvation

cover sunflowers for van gogh

cover sunflowers for van gogh

Army Opportunity Shop in Werribee. What a find! The author and photographer, David Douglas Duncan, fell in love with Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings and travelled to France to create a book devoted to the fields of sunflowers in France. I often find fantastic art books on the bookshelves of Op Shops and they are always really cheap! Op Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes as you just never know what you might stumble upon! The students loved looking through this book and it was out, on their work tables, throughout the creation of these wonderful artworks. They were fascinated by the variety of the sunflowers and that they were so different to the sunflowers that grew in our school garden beds.

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

As you can see the grade 3 students spent many, many weeks on these art works and they are, rightfully, very pleased with them.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

The students started by doing a 10 minute pencil draft in their journals of 4 different sunflowers – front view, side view, dying with petals dropping, not yet open.

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

All the students found these 4 views challenging but were willing to give it a go in their journal. They then bought their journal to me for a quick one on one chat about their drawings, full of praise, of course, and directed specifically at their ability level – differentiation!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

They then drew a vase of sunflowers 10 minute pencil draft. And again bought this to me for a brief chat. Most children drew their sunflowers in the vase facing in different directions (hooray!) as the brief practice of the four views freed them up to do this. I did not make any direct references to how they were to draw their vase in their journal, or that they were to include the four views from their previous drawing. It was all learning by doing – and isn’t that the best kind of learning!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

So that is 2 steps before they could even commence painting!

The students commenced by drawing a faint pencil line at about a third of the way up from the bottom of the paper. This gave them a line between the tabletop and the wall. This was suggested by a student who pointed out that Vincent had given his flower vase somewhere to sit by creating a table top rather than the vase just finishing at the bottom of the painting – hooray, hooray for improved observational skills! There was a huge variety in the colours used and some children created fancy tablecloths while others decorated the background wall. Most students painted their background with dry block paints giving it a wishy washy watercolour appearance.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

I usually write up a basic framework to create the art work during discussion with my first class at that grade level. I then revise and add to the framework through discussion with the other grades. All students are well aware that it is only a guideline and they are free to pursue their own ideas throughout the process. This allows the students to work independently, with a reference up the front if they need it, as they work their way back and forth, stopping and starting, between parts of the complex work. I scribble in alternatives at each step, sometimes as they appear, and make sure the materials are available on the resource table, to aid the students independence.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

The next step was the sunflower stems. Most students chose to print the stems onto the background using cardboard scraps. Again, this created a huge variety of different looking stems.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

They then painted the sunflowers carefully, most students leaving one stem without a head. Most students chose to paint their sunflowers using basic school acrylic paint. This accentuated the difference between the wishy washy background walls and the stark, bright, solid colours of the sunflowers.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

The 3D sunflower head was made using Model Magic

model magic

model magic

which is an air dry clay which is very light and can be painted when it is dry. You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong. You can also use Paper Magic Clay

paper magiclay

paper magiclay

which is created by Zart Art in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia as an alternative to Model Magic. My students have used both successfully. We found, as the weeks marched on, and some students had not created their Model Magic flowers, that it worked just as well when we started cutting corners to get finished. It was just as successful if you glued the flower on as soon as you made it, rather than wait for it to air dry, and you could paint it before it air dried as well.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

To finish their amazing work of art the students cut and decorated a vase and made sure it was big enough to cover the stems! This was an hilarious learning adventure all on it’s own. I showed the students how to fold a kinder square in half, draw half a vase on one side, cut it out and get a whole vase. The shocked faces when their vase was way too thin or better still, in two separate pieces, as they had drawn their vase along the wrong side of the folded paper, were priceless! I am always pointing out to the students that mistakes are part of their learning so it was fantastic to watch them fiddling with the two sad, separate pieces of their vase, to figure out where they went wrong, so they wouldn’t do it again.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

It was a very long, involved process from start to finish for this work, with many stops and starts in between, as work had to dry completely between many of the steps.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

All the grade 3 students worked brilliantly and moved independently onto different parts of the work while waiting for other bits to dry.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 1 52015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 15 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

I am very proud of how committed the grade 3 students are to their art and how well they used their art time!!!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

And I’m sure you will agree that these are stunning artworks, some of which took 8 sessions to complete. All students, regardless of the level of their ability, were proud of their achievements.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 17 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 16 2015

And they made a gorgeous display. I can’t wait to put them all up at the art show!  The Cambridge Primary School Art Show is  on the 23rd and 24th October!!! Just 4 weeks away – aaaggghhhhh!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 412015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 41 2015

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Shell

 

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3 thoughts on “GRADE 3 SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS

  1. Gail Bartel

    Hi Shell, It’s Gail from “that artist woman”. Your sunflowers are amazing. Love all the sketches showing the process the kids worked through. The display is very striking and would definitely catch my attention. Great to see another project utilizing Model Magic, I seem to be adding more of it to my projects as well.
    Your students should be very proud of their creations! Thanks for letting me know and I will be visiting your blog regularly to see more of this inspiring work.
    Take care,
    Gail

    Reply
  2. shelleymenhennet (Post author)

    Hello Gail,
    Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog. I really appreciate it. Incorporating model magic into a painting does work really well and as it is usually just a small element it allows the budget to stretch that little bit further while still adding pizazz to the painting! Last year the grade 3 students did their own A4 sized version of “The Scream” and then modelled themselves screaming as the 3D element. They were fantastic. I’ll have to come up with another model magic painting idea for next year. I go back to school tomorrow to start term 4 after two weeks break. I’ll be sure to tell the grade 3 students on Th and Fri about your comment. They will be thrilled hat someone from so far away was interested in their work. I’m thinking I should put up a world map and start putting sticky dots on the places that have commented. The students would love it!
    And your blog is also stunning and I’m sure I will be looking at it again! and again
    Thanks again,
    Shell

    Reply

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