PPBF Looks at Vincent’s Colors, a picture book created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, using only the words and pictures of Vincent Van Gogh.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for an evening of painting at a local shop. The painting the students and I came to copy was the well-known Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Admittedly, not an easy painting to tackle. But with the instructor giving us the order in which to add each element, along with her permission to use Vincent’s painting as a jump off point from which we could freely interpret to our heart’s desire, the task wasn’t nearly as daunting.
A framed print of the famous painting rested on a large easel. We each took many turns, viewing the print up close to help with our interpretations. At the end of the evening, we each had a painting we were pleased with. Pleased with until I came home, looked in my art book at the original, and noticed the instructor’s poster had faded in her window display and overall, her reproduction appeared strangely contrasty. I still had a fabulous evening, painting my version of Starry Night by an artist whose work I have long admired.
Now, on to my Perfect Picture Book Friday review of Vincent’s Colors.
Words and pictures by Vincent van Gogh.
This book was created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Published by – Chronicle Books – 2005
Suitable for – 3-7
Topic – An art book for young children to acquaint them with Vincent van Gogh’s art.
Opening – (These are the first four pages to show how the book is set up to rhyme.)
A yellow sky with yellow sun,
a jug in squares of blue and white,
a reddish cap and orange bricks,
twelve flowers that are light on light.
Synopsis from Amazon – Vincent van Gogh is one of the world’s most famous artists. Throughout his life, he wrote to his younger brother, Theo, about his colorful, dynamic paintings. This book pairs the artist’s paintings with his own words.
Van Gogh’s descriptions, arranged as a simple rhyme, introduce young readers to all the colors of the rainbow and beyond. The descriptive words combine with spectacular reproductions of many of the artist’s most beloved and important works to create a perfect art book for young and old alike.
Why I like this book – Instead of showing each painting in its entirety, a close up section was selected to better illustrate Vincent van Gogh’s impasto style of painting.
(Definition: impasto is a thick application of paint (usually oil) that makes no attempt to look smooth. Instead, impasto is unabashedly proud to be textured, and exists to show off brush and palette knife marks.)
A simple description, taken from Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo, accompanies each painting, and the paintings are organized so the descriptions form a rhyming pattern, children will enjoy hearing.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – website.
Learn more about Vincent van Gogh – here.
To find other perfect picture books please visit Susanna Hill’s Blog.
Over twenty Starry Night Art Project for kids here.
Vincent van Gogh-inspired art project from http://www.playideas.com
If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll share it.