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How To Draw Van Gogh Sunflowers

Artists of Any Age Can Make This Cool Art!

About the Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is a Dutch painter who was alive 1853-1890. One of the things he is most famous for is his very unique painting style. Van Gogh's paintings had distinct brush strokes that looked like movement in the painting. He's actually known as a post-impressionist painter. The impressionist painters used a lot of dots and dashes in their paintings and used really light colors, but the post-impressionist painters still used dashes and made them bolder, paint was thicker, and colors were a lot brighter.

You may know some of Vincent Van Gogh's other famous paintings, like Starry Night or his portraits. If you want to learn more about Vincent Van Gogh and his life, there is a movie called Loving Vincent which is all about him. The movie is a documentary, which is a biography about how he grew up. The super cool thing about this movie is that it's all animated in his painting style. It was the first fully painted feature film ever made!

What You'll Need

- One piece of dark paper

- Masking tape

- Lots of colors of chalk pastels!

First, let's use masking tape around the edges of our paper so that way, at the end of our project, we can take the tape off and our art will have a border, like a frame. Beautiful!

Step 1: Draw Your Vase

Let's get to drawing! Let's start with the base. Choose the color of your vase and at the bottom of your paper, draw a smile curve. The two sides will be like two parentheses ( ) around each side of the smile. You want the vase to go about halfway up the paper - the flowers will take up the rest of the drawing at the top half! Then, let's add the detail of dividing the vase in half with a smile curve. Finally, let's draw a table behind the vase with a straight horizontal line.

Step 2: Compose Your Flowers

There are two main kinds of flowers: some are round like a ball, and others have petals that are spiky. Let's start with the circular flowers. In the middle of the vase just above the top, draw a circle about the size of a mini bagel with a hole in the middle. Then, we'll add one that looks like it's peeking behind it on the left. It'll touch the edge of your vase and the middle flower, too! Then, on the right, let's draw an oval. This flower is flopping over a little bit, so drawing it like an oval will help show that. We'll add two smaller ovals just like that on the right hand side of the vase, too. Finally, let's add one that's coming off the side on the left. Draw a curve for the stem and a little oval, with spikes going down. This flower hasn't bloomed yet.

Now, let's do the spiky flowers. Start by adding six circles floating above the donut flowers all over the paper. These will be the middles of the spiky flowers! Then, around each circle, let's add spikes that curve a little bit. Let's make them zig-zag to look like sunflower petals. If you're worried about the petals overlapping, that's okay! We want some of the flowers to overlap.

Finally, we're going to add some special flowers. Wherever you have extra space in your drawing, let's add some unique flowers! You can do a sideways flower, which is a tall oval with spikes on one side, and a stem going into the vase.

If you feel like you've filled up your page with flowers, great! You're good to go. If you feel like you want to add more, go ahead! Once all your flowers are done, make sure each one that has some space has a stem going toward the vase.

PRO TIP: When you're using chalk pastels, do not blow the chalk off your paper. It can get everywhere and make you sneeze! Instead, pick up your drawing and tap, tap, tap onto the table!

Step 3: Color Your Flowers!

Your art is your own, so you get to make it your own! Pick whatever color you want to start coloring. First, we're going to color in the vase. Start with coloring in the bottom half one color, and the top half another. Vincent Van Gogh chose to paint his bottom of his vase tan and the top yellow, but you can use whatever color you want. You can blend your colors with one finger if you want, too!

Now, let's pick two colors for our flowers. Vincent Van Gogh used yellows for his sunflowers, but you can choose whatever you want. Let's start with coloring in our circular bagel-shaped flowers. Color in the flower (not the middle!) of each donut. You can blend a little bit if you want, too.

Next, let's color all of our spiky flowers. You can go over the lines we drew before, so they don't look outlined. Make sure to fill in the petals on all your flowers with your color! You can flick the chalk a little bit at the end, too, to make the spikes look a little extra spiky.

Finally, pick a color for the centers of your flowers and swirl your chalk in the centers to fill those in. This step goes pretty quick!

Step 4: Add The Stems

Let's find a green chalk now to add some details. The first thing we're going to add is a flower that hasn't quite bloomed yet. To add this flower, we're going to draw the stem out to a small circle and draw smaller spikes coming out of that flower, behind one of your other spiky flowers. This can be tricky, so you can pause the video when you're doing it and replay the step to watch it again.

Once you have that done, let's go over the stems you drew already and make them green, too! You might not have very many stems because you may have a LOT of sunflowers, and that's okay. Don't forget the flower drooping off the side to the left!

Step 5: Add Texture

Now we're going to add texture to this chalk pastel. Texture is when something isn't just a plain color, but it has a pattern inside it to make it look a little different. Van Gogh's texture is a lot of lines, so we're going to add a lot of lines to make our chalk pastel drawing feel more like a Van Gogh painting.

For your texture, we're going to start with our round flowers. Pick a color that's going to show up over the color you chose to fill in your flowers. Then, add lines all the way around the middle color, kind of like a sun, with little vertical lines. Fill in your whole donut with lines going around the inside of the donut. Then, make sure all your donuts are filled in like that! You can add a little bit of shading around the outside of the donut, like an outline, if you want to as well.

Once those are done, let's add a bunch of dots and dashes inside the middles of all of the flowers. This will look like the sunflower seeds! Make sure you do the center of every flower with a color that will show up on top of the color you already used for the middle of the flowers.

Now, let's find a color darker than our spiky flower petals. Using that color, let's add a few dark outlines to the pointed petals over the outlines of the petals. You can also add some extra lines around the middle of the flower, too, if you want. Now, let's do that to every skinny petal. Phew!

Step 6: Add Highlights

Now we're going to add some more details to make this look like a Van Gogh inspired chalk pastel drawing. Let's use a white chalk pastel and add some highlights to our drawing!

First, we'll start with the vase. Let's add some horizontal lines on the vase on the top and the bottom. The white makes it look like there's a shine on the vase. You can also add a few spots on your flowers and add highlights using small dashes wherever you'd like.

Step 7: Color Your Backgrounds

Hooray! Now that our subject of our art is done (the sunflowers in the vase), we can move on to coloring in the rest of the drawing. Let's start with the tablecloth! Pick whatever color you want to fill in your table cloth. Try to stay inside the lines around the vase and under the horizontal line you drew earlier. If you go outside the line, that's ok: it's easy to fix mistakes with chalk pastel. Just blend it a little and go over it with the right color to fix it!

Then, pick a color for the wall and we'll do the same thing. But, we have a special tip for coloring the wall. First, go around your vase and flower around the outlines with your color. Then, fill in the background. This helps to make sure that you don't blend over the spikes you already drew! Make sure you color in between the flowers, too, because that's also the wall behind them. You can also use one finger to blend in your background a little bit to make it look a little more smooth.

PRO TIP: Don't forget we taped the edges, so if you color over the tape, that's okay. You'll still have a frame once you take the tape off.

The Final Product!

And Remember... Keep Making Cool Art!

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