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How to Make Chalk Art Inspired by “The Starry Night”

by Catalina Gutierrez
April 1, 2023
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Scrape chalk powder over glue and swirl chalk art designs! A fun art project inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”.

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There’s a collection of books about famous artists written by Laurence Anholt that are wonderful, easy to read, with great illustrations. We have a few as part of our children’s book collection and my boys really like them. “Van Gogh and the Sunflowers” is the latest one that we acquired and we’ve been reading it a lot lately.

We usually have a routine at night where either myself or my husband reads a book they pick from their bedroom library. After reading it, they request a story…and then a song…and then they make up just about any other excuse to delay bedtime as much as they can.

But don’t they all? I know I used to do it too when I was a child…Ha! It’s payback right?

As I was reading this book to them, I came up with this fun process art idea. We tried it a couple days later and they really enjoyed it! It was inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, which is just about one of the most amazing paintings of all times for me.

The swirls and vibrant colors in the sky; the movement he achieves by pushing the paint around while experimenting with light and gesture–can playfully be explored with this activity.

I really hope you give this easy chalk art project a try–I can assure your kid(s) will have a blast.

Van Gogh chalk art _ pin
Photo by Catalina Gutierrez

Chalk Art for Kids

MATERIALS

  1. Pour the glue

    Spreading glue in pan for easy chalk art activity.

    Set out your pan or plastic plate and begin by pouring glue to cover the whole surface. You might want to use your hands to shake it around a little so the glue drips all around.

    In the end, my son used 2 fingers to spread the glue a little faster.

    Spreading glue on pan for an easy chalk art activity.

  2. Scrape the chalk pastels

    Scraping chalk pastels with a plastic card for an easy chalk art activity.
    Select the colors of chalk pastels you will be using and start “scraping” them with your card on top of the glue, covering the entire surface.

    Scraping chalk pastels with a plastic card for an easy chalk art activity.

    This was my son’s favorite part! He loved watching the pastels turn into powder as he rubbed them against the card.

  3. Draw with a toothpick

    Swirling a design with chalk dust – an easy chalk art activity.

    Once your pan is covered in pastels, bring out a toothpick and focus on drawing over the colors, making lines and shapes.

My son was very focused on making it look like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. He brought in the book and kept looking at it. He was also very interested in how the colors mixed together as he brushed them with the toothpick.

This was a really fun process art activity, suited for kids five years old and up as the pastel scraping can be a challenging for little hands.

Chalk Art for Kids - Drawing in the Chalk and Glue with a Toothpick

Vincent Van Gogh inspired our easy chalk art, but you can certainly pair this project with the artist of your choice who explores movement, color and gesture.

Once we were done, my son showed it to everyone in the house, he was so proud of his creation. At this point, he has a clear idea of what process art is, so he knew we would have fun making it, enjoy the process, and then clean it all up.

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Photo by Catalina Gutierrez
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