In this Van Gogh sunflower art project for children we will learn about famous art inspired by sunflowers, including work by O’Keeffe, Matisse, and Klimt, and create our own sunflower art projects.
Van Gogh sunflower art project for children
:: look closely at sunflowers and explore their colour, shape, and texture
:: learn about famous art inspired by sunflowers, including work by Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, and Gustav Klimt
:: explore collage techniques
:: create our own art inspired by sunflowers, using affordable, readily available materials, with a focus on using the materials to express our own interpretation of sunflowers
Real sunflowers (if possible)
Collage materials in yellow, orange, green and brown colours: papers, card, fabric
white or black card
What do sunflowers look like?
Let’s start by taking a close look at your sunflowers (or use these photographs).
What do sunflowers look like?
How do they feel?
How do they smell?
What do different parts sound like?
Think about the overall look of a tall sunflower plant, and also look closely at the individual petals, seeds, leaves and stalk.
What words would you use to describe them?
Famous art inspired by sunflowers
Now let’s look at some famous art that was inspired by sunflowers. Click through on each link below to see a famous art work. As you look at them, talk about:
What do you see?
How has the artist created their sunflower art?
What materials have they used?
Do they show a complete plant, or part of one?
What else is in the picture?
What is similar about the artworks? What is different?
Our own sunflower-inspired art
Now let’s create our own art, inspired by the real sunflowers we have looked at, and perhaps by the famous art we have seen.
Take a piece of card to be your background.
Think about how you want to compose your sunflower picture. Which way round do you want to place your card? Do you want to create a complete plant, including the stem, or just a part of the flower?
Where will you place your flower head? In the centre or to one side?
How will you angle the flower head? Will it bend or will it face straight ahead?
There are no wrong answers. You can create your own version of a sunflower, however you would like.
Gather some of the collage materials and create your sunflower. You can cut or tear the materials to size, and use glue to stick them down to your card.
Think about how you can combine different materials to create an interesting collage. How will you mix colours and textures together?
Here is a selection of the sunflowers created in my family art workshops, by artists aged five to forty+. You’ll see how each is completely different, yet each is a beautiful sunflower.
Sunflower School curriculum and printables
The Sunflower School curriculum matches a full programme of learning to the natural growing cycle of sunflowers.
It gives you six units of learning:
:: In the spring we’ll focus on planting and watching our plants grow.
:: In the summer we’ll learn about bees and pollination, and celebrate the gorgeous blooms through art.
:: In the late summer and early autumn we’ll turn our attention to harvesting, sustainability, and closing of the growing year.
Bonus sunflower printables
Our Sunflower School curriculum comes with 30 pages of bonus printables that you can use with your children to enrich their learning, including:
- My Sunflower Journal printable
- Lined, plain, and half-and-half journal pages
- Sunflower poems printable
- Sunflower sticker sheet
- Printable plant labels
- Sunflower counting mat
- Sunflower addition mat
- Sunflower subtraction mat
- Sunflower word mats
- Bee number cards
- Bee writing and scissor skills pages
- Garden Creatures page
- Honeycomb alphabet
- Printable seed packets