Level V-Art Lesson 2: The Carpathian Church
Learn to draw and paint in the style of Van Gogh
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 7 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
We had been talking of how to create a lesson around the work of Vincent Van Gogh as we drove through the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine. The Karpaty, as they are called in Ukrainian, are a summer paradise, with sheep dotting the rounded green mountainsides, clear streams bubbling through the valleys, and quaint villages clustered along the roadside. When we discovered this shiny roofed church at the edge of one village, we knew we had something that would let us play with Van Gogh’s style.
In this lesson students will
- Draw the church on contruction paper, and
- Color it with shorts strokes of oil pastels.
By placing short strokes of different colors side by side, they will create the vibrant color mixture that distinguishes Van Gogh's work.
If you find that your drawing looks much more “wobbly” than the stiff example that appears in the lesson, don’t worry. Bends in the lines will only make the finished work seem more like something Van Gogh himself would have painted!
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the church.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 warm-up for the Carpathian church (this is included with the lesson)
- 1 sheet of 12” x 18” dark colored construction paper
- Charcoal white pencil
- 1 fine tipped permanent black marker
- 1 set of oil pastels
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Read The Winter Horses, a thrilling novel about WWII in Ukraine.
- Read Out of Line: Growing Up Soviet by
- Ukraine (Cultures of the World) by
Social Studies: Use this lesson as an introduction to the geography and history of Ukraine.
Architecture: Compare this village church to St. Basil’s Church, the famous church just outside the Kremlin in Moscow. It’s easy to find a picture online. What do both buildings have in common? How do they differ?
- To appreciate Van Gogh's paintings and how he constructed them, watch a video.
- Watch a cartoon about Van Gogh.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction through guided drawing: 40 minutes
- Finishing the picture: 95 minutes
- Total time: 135 minutes