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On Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers @GRAM'S

At GRAM’S our art curriculum run theme based; it is driven by the students’ interest coupled with the impartation of various art techniques where the students are encouraged to free their minds and experiment expressing their works in their preferred style (colours, patterns, compositions). However, once or twice a year, we will introduce a certain famous painting to students in order for them to study the techniques of and pay homage to known artists. This year, we decided on Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh.

The children were on the theme of nature previously so riding on the previous projects, we thought that doing the Sunflowers canvas painting will be an interesting follow-on for the children.

Vincent Van Gogh - An emotional and persistent Painter

Vincent Van Gogh was a famous painter whose works had greatly influenced the 20th century art. He has produced many widely popular works which includes landscapes, portraits and still life, but what stands out to me is the bold colours used in the “Sunflowers” series. Van Gogh strongly believed that being a great painter; one must know how to master the drawing before including colours into the works. Over the years of practicing, he began to use bold colours in which it is shown on the “Sunflowers” series. It was a series of paintings produced over the years with many versions of it painted by Van Gogh while he was travelling.

We may not be able to let the children experience what Van Gogh had exactly went through to perfect his Sunflowers, but we ran the theme for an additional 2 sessions to help them better understand the story and techniques behind the painting. It was heart-warming to see the students understand that they need to put in a lot of hard work and practice to perfect their painting.

The essence of painting the Sunflowers lies in getting the colors right. Students are encouraged to mix their own shades of colours on a palette, making decision on which colours used in their painting.

Adapting from Van Gogh's painting, students learned a new painting technique - Impasto.

Impasto is one of the most commonly used painting styles that Van Gogh applied in his paintings. It is where brush strokes with thick layer of paint are left on the surface to create a texture. Students learn that different painting styles will create different appearance on their painting. Eg, Impasto will be impacted by the lighting in the room as the brushstrokes stands out from the flat canvas.

Now, watch two of our students in action during class through the time lapse video here:

“The sunflower is mine, in a way.” - Vincent van Gogh

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