Vincent Van Gogh Study

Vincent Van Gogh Study

Rebecca was born holding a pencil and paintbrush. Not really! But pretty much from the time she could hold anything, her chosen anything was inevitably a mark making utensil of some sort – a pen, pencil, marker, crayon, paint brush…literally anything she could get her hands on. She is the first child of mine who I knew with absolute certainty what she would do when she grew up. Becca is an artist to the very centre of her being. And this Vincent Van Gogh study does nothing to dispel me of this notion.

The Van Gogh Study was completely of her own making. She independently sought out the books, wrote a biography of his life and tried to learn how to paint just like him.

Vincent Van Gogh Study – Resources

We have a ridiculous number of artist/art books in our home library. Becs chose all the children’s versions:

These are all great introductions to Vincent Van Gogh, although obviously not the most academic of books 😆. Our copies are so dog-eared I’m surprised she was able to read them. Our personal preference is the Laurence Anholt series. They have so much heart and give a real insight into the artist’s life and talent.

Vincent Van Gogh Study – Copying Individual Pieces

Starry Night

This was the first painting she studied. She asked me to photograph close up parts of the picture for her to learn his techniques:

After which, She attempted the whole piece:

Becs is very self-critical, and pointed out everything that was wrong with it. I kept asking her what she had learnt, as that was the point. Not to replicate it perfectly but to learn some transferable skills. She was only nine, after all!


This was fun watching her take those skills she wasn’t sure she had and apply them to recreating one of Van Gogh’s many sunflower paintings. She LOVED painting these flowers:

And I really think she did herself proud:

Vincent Van Gogh


It was interesting for me to watch her going from strength to strength, and applying that which she had learnt in the weeks before to her next study. She really enjoyed this painting:

Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh

Daisies and Poppies

This was by far Becca’s hardest challenge. She found it difficult from start to finish. I could see how she was developing – for example the shades and lights on her vase were much more confident and bold than the week before. However, I think she just couldn’t see past all the different flowers and felt overwhelmed. I tried to focus her attention on one part of the picture at a time. This meant that she did less per sitting but did not become too overwhelmed. To be honest, I was just really pleased that she did not give up, and she really did get there in the end. And, I think, did herself proud:

For me, this was one of the best studies I’d ever seen in our homeschool. The reason for this was simply that it was completely student led from start to finish. And, I think, Becca learnt a good lesson of not needing to be such a perfectionist (the final picture she really struggled with, yet continued even though in her eyes it wasn’t her best).
Well done Sweetheart!

1 comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.