"Starry, starry night. Paint your palette blue and gray. Look out on a summer's day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul." Lyrics from one of my favorite songs from the early 70's by Don McLean and was a tribute to the artist Vincent van Gogh. It's a song that is played quiet often in my home and my kids have heard it so many times that they can sing it word perfect.
The fact that Vincent van Gogh is one of my favorite artists and The Starry Night happens to be my favorite piece by him. When Ashleigh was given the opportunity to review Master Kitz The Starry Night,an art kit from Kidzaw.com, I couldn't help but feel just a bit of excitement in getting the opportunity to share my favorite artist, as well as my favorite painting by that artist, using a hands on learning experience I knew she would enjoy.
Inside the sturdy art box are all the items necessary for your student to create their own interpretation of Van Gogh's The Starry Night. There are two pieces of thick art paper measuring 20x16 inches, 3 plastic bottles of acrylic paint in black, blue and yellow, 5 oil pastels, 1 van Gogh Roller, 1 standard paint roller, 1 resuable Stary Night stencil, 1 sheet of Stars masking stickers, step by step instructions (printed in different languages) and a van Gogh lesson sheet.
The full color instruction sheet is a two sides, fold out that first gives a short lesson about the life of Vincent van Gogh and discusses the different artistic styles that influenced his artwork and resulted in the progression to what his artistic style would become. Inside is a lesson in regards to Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Finally, the inside of the fold out includes the detailed, step by step instructions on how to recreate van Gogh's masterpiece, The Starry Night.
Everything needed to create the art project is included, with exception to tape if you wish to tape the paper and stencil down as well as a paper plate to pour the paint on. By following the steps, the end result is a pretty impressive version of van Gogh's artwork.
How We Used It
We had a really nice temperate day one weekend and determined that it would be the perfect time to bring out the art kit. First, we sat down and read the lesson together so that Ashleigh could learn a bit about the life of Vincent van Gogh. As said, we have listened to the song Vincent by Don McLean so many times that she already knew part of the story (that van Gogh took his life) and the lesson does talk briefly about this. However, the section on van Gogh's personal life is very brief and written for a younger student's understanding and handles the subject material well.
Still inside, we also talked about the differences between Realism, Impressionism and Post- Impressionism. The kids have done some art studies in the past and we somewhat familiar with these styles of art but it was a good discussion on the techniques each of these styles display.
After these discussions, it was time to head outside and have some fun. Ashleigh put on some older play clothes so as not to get paint on her good clothes, Mom took a bit of tape and tapes down the paper to the sidewalk outside and Ashleigh got busy.
After placing the star masks (stickers to keep the paint from the area where the stars will be located), we poured some of the blue paint in a paper plate and Ashleigh used the van Gogh roller to create a texture that resembled van Gogh's distinct brush strokes onto the paper. After the blue, we poured the white paint into the plate and Ashleigh used the same roller with that paint.
She did have a bit of difficulty removing the star masks from the paper as the texture of the paper adhered really well to the adhesive of the stickers. Removing the masks slowly and from different angles to meet in the middle worked the best for us.
After that, we taped the stencil over the paper and poured some black paint into the plate. Using the standard paint roller, she covered the area of the stencil with the black paint and allowed that a few minutes to dry. (Since it was in the mid 80's that day, it dried fairly quickly).
Ashleigh checking to see if the paint was dry before moving on to the next step with the pastels.
After all was dried and done, Ashleigh was rather proud of the final picture.
The smile says it all :)
I REALLY liked this art kit and not just because it was based on van Gogh. I found the learning materials to be just enough to teach but not enough to overwhelm. There's enough provided that if a child wants to learn more, they can do their own research using the information provided as a spring board. I also liked the use of a variety of art techniques, from the two rollers, the stencil, and sticker masks to the use of acrylic paints and pastels to create a piece of art a child can be proud of. Of course I really like the fact that it gave Ashleigh an excuse to get out of the house, enjoy some nice weather while learning in the process.
Master Kitz offers seven other Kitz, including a second van Gogh kit that replicates Sunflowers. These kits would make great Christmas presents for the art loving child in your household and the Monet's Water Lilies kit is likely to be under the Christmas tree for us this year.
For more information about Kitzaw.com and their wide selection of art kits including Master Kitz, visit their website. You can also find more information at the following social media sites: