Teaching Artist > Lesson Plans

Title: Texture, Lines , and Flowers Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Medium: Oil Pastel Resist Painting School: Barry Elementary
Grade Level: 1

Book: How Artists See People
Book: Looking at the World’s Greatest Artists-Vincent van Gogh
Art Reproductions: Irises, Sunflowers, Self Portrait, Starry Night
White drawing paper (9x11)
Assortment of Silk Flowers
Oil Pastels
Brushes (longer hairs to create watercolor washes)
Tempera Paint
Construction Paper (for mounting and display)
Liquid Glue or Yes Paste


Vincent van Gogh Texture Variety Contour/Interior
Oil pastel Tempera Resist Rhythm/Movement
(Post) Impressionism Emphasis Expressionist “Mark making”

Educational Strategies
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch Post Impressionist painter born in 1853 in the Netherlands. Throughout his life, van Gogh had many jobs that included being a teacher, an art dealer, a preacher and a salesman. It was not until 1880 that he decided to become an artist. He spent the rest of his life learning about painting. He painted using short brushstrokes in a style called Impressionism. His paintings were thick and had a lot of texture and bright colors. Lines in van Gough's art swirled and seemed to move throughout the painting. He often used colors and movement to reflect how he felt. This is called Expressionism.

Although he is famous now, he received little attention as an artist during his life and sold only one painting. His paintings of sunflowers may be his most popular work, but he created over 800 paintings in only 10 years. Vincent van Gogh died in 1890.


Lesson 1: Class will begin by “unwrapping” the painting Starry Night. Students will be asked to describe everything they see and make statements about what they think is going on in the painting. One of van Gogh’s self portraits will be shown and the artist will be introduced to the class. His life as an artist will be discussed and the styles of Impressionism and Expressionism will be shared. Evidence of these styles will be identified by the students in the self- portrait and Starry Night.

Next, Sunflowers and Irises will be put on display for the class. Students will identify similarities in the style of these paintings to the two previously viewed. Ms. Bespalec will encourage them to locate examples of movement, texture and mark making in the Impressionist style.

Students will receive a 9x11 sheet of white watercolor or thick drawing paper. Each table group will also receive miscellaneous silk flowers. Looking at the flowers, students will create a pencil drawing of 2-3 large-scale flowers in a small vase. Flowers will be emphasized by making them very large. The final drawing should fill the page from top to bottom and to each side. Both sides of the paper can be used if mistakes re made or if a student needs to make their flowers taller or larger.

Lesson 2 and 3: Ms. Bespalec will demonstrate how to use oil pastels to draw lines in the interior of the flower shapes. By placing lines close together, the drawing will be filled with textures and bright colors. These lines will also create rhythm and movement through repetition as the entire picture become filled with lines going in multiple directions.

Baskets of oil pastels will be placed at each group table. Students will use the remainder of class filling in the flowers, leaves, stems and vases in their work. Student will use white and other light colored pastels (identified by Ms. Bespalec and placed in a separate container at each table) to create random marks that overlap and fill in the empty spaces in the background.

Lesson 4: Students will receive watercolor paints, brushes and water at their tables. Ms. Bespalec will show a demonstration on how to apply a wash of color over the oil pastel, completely covering the white paper and bring emphasis to the oil pastel drawings. Students will use the remainder of the class period applying watercolor to their oil pastel drawings, When finished, students will place their work on the drying rack and clean up their tables, returning any materials to their proper place on the art cart.


Students will receive and fill in vocabulary relating to the project they are working
Time to practice making watercolor washes will be given before being applied to the
final project.
Students will be encouraged to experiment with different lettering for their text
before beginning to fill in the velum sheet.

English as a Second Language
Students will be given plenty of opportunity to ask questions and will sit near
students that can assist with more difficult translations if necessary.
Teacher will give both oral and visual instruction (demonstrations).
Teacher will repeat directions in Spanish to all bilingual classes or students that
require extra assistance.

Students with Disabilities
Teacher will frequently visit students to evaluate progress and comprehension
Smaller tipped oil pastels will be offered to assist in making thin lines
If the student has difficulty controlling the oil pastel to make lines, they will be
allowed to color in the flowers in their entirety. Lines will still be used to
decorate the vase.
Student will be given the opportunity to have the teacher work with them getting
started to reinforce expectations.

Were the students able to identify similarities in van Gogh’s use of line and texture in
the examples of his artwork?
Did the student use lines and shapes to create a bouquet of flowers and a small vase
that filled the page?
Were oil pastels used as instructed to add marks, lines and texture to the students’
pencil drawings?
Did the students use tempra paint as instructed to paint a wash over the entirety of
their oil pastel drawing?
Were the students able to complete a painting that uses rhythm and movement in
ways similar to Vincent van Gogh?

Van Gough Texture Flowers