This week we’ve got a bit of a French theme going on in our play, and to tie in this with this I wanted to look at some French art with T and use it to inspire some artwork of our own. We had a look at some of Van Gogh’s work and T was immediately drawn to The Starry Night. I’ve since realised that Van Gogh was in fact Dutch (I’m not know for my Art History!) but since The Starry Night was painted in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, we’ll go with it!
I decided we would create the picture in stages using a few different media. To begin with, I wanted to help T to create the swirling blue background. I’m all too aware that the patience of my three year old is fairly limited, and whatever we did would need to cover the page quite quickly! I decided the most effective way of gaining the blue background was to do some crayon-resist painting. T used a white crayon to create swirling patterns over her paper, and then painted over it using blue watercolour paint.
While the paint dried, we cut out some silhouettes from black paper to create the tree and some houses in the foreground. I drew some simple shapes which T cut out with a little help. She then stuck these on to the page, looking at the original to help her decide where to place them.
We used our twistable crayons from Tiger to create the stars – these have a texture similar to oil pastels, and are so lovely to work with (although can get really messy!) I asked T to have a look at the original to see what shape the stars were, and she then carefully coloured some circles around the page. She also coloured a larger shape as the moon, and we added a paper crescent on top of this to define it a bit more.
Finally, T added a few star stickers – because show me a toddler who doesn’t love shiny stickers!
It’s the first time we’ve tried a project like this and I wasn’t really sure how she would take to it – like any three year old, she can get easily frustrated when things take time or don’t go as she hopes! However I was really impressed with the way she persevered and I think having several shorter steps may have helped with this.
I love how the finished piece turned out – I think it’s really gorgeous. Definitely a keeper! This kind of activity develops T’s observational and fine motor skills, her knowledge of different media and materials, and her creativity. We’ll definitely be doing some more activities like this!