This year our 2nd graders made a copy of Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night” and as you can see, it is magnificent! Here’s how you can make one, too:
1. First, divide a fine art poster (you can find these inexpensively at art.com) into the same number of equal-sized sections as you have students. (If the numbers don’t work out exactly right, consider having the teacher, principal or other school “celebrities” create a section, too.) Carefully cut the poster into separate pieces. (It can “feel wrong” to cut up a perfectly good art poster, but the end result is worth it!)
2. Next, number the pieces on the back and draw an arrow pointing to the “top”.
3. Now, cut heavy weight black paper to the same size and distribute one piece to each student, along with their piece of the poster. Copy the number and arrow from the back of each poster piece to the back of the black paper.
3. Then, have students use oil pastels to re-create their section of the poster onto the black paper. For best results, remind them to focus on just copying the shapes, colors and placement of what they see on their poster section and to try not to think so much about what those shapes and colors represent. Encourage them to mix and their layer colors for a richer, more interesting effect and to cover the entire paper with oil pastel…. don’t leave any black paper showing!
4. Finally, reassemble the finished pieces and use “YES!” Paste to glue them down onto a piece of black mat board, leaving about a 1/4″ space between the pieces. (Frame your creation with spacers along the edge between the mat board and the glass.)