Year 2’s Van Gogh Portraits

Elmhurst School for Boys

22nd January 2015

This week, Year 2 have been tying in our European topics of the Great Fire of London and the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh. We looked at the style of Van Gogh's self-portraits and discussed the materials and style that he used in order to create texture and tone in his paintings.  We tried this out with oil pastels and experimented with blending different colours to mirror the effect of texture in skin and hair tones.

We then created our own portraits of Samuel Pepys, using our own combination of textured materials, such as oil pastel, felt, cotton wool, string and different types of paper.

The boys learned how important it is to select appropriate colours and materials to accentuate particular parts of their portraits.  They also learned how to handle the materials sensitively to create the desired effects of shadow and light; at first, many were keen to blend the oil pastels by rubbing with all of their strength but soon realised that a gentler approach created a much better result!

They really enjoyed choosing their own combinations of materials for their portraits and they helped each other to improve their work further by peer-assessing with ‘two stars and a wish’.

View photos of Year 2’s work.

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