Palo Alto Impressionist Kids: How to Make a van Gogh Perspective Drawing!

Vincent van Gogh is famous for his impressionist paintings such as “Starry Night” or “Cafe Terrace at Night,” but did you know that all of his painting use math in one way or another? A common instance of math in his paintings is the use of perspective, or use of a “vanishing point.” Making your very own perspective drawing with a vanishing point is a fun and easy way to mix math and art together, and get your child interested in the many different applications of math. Here are some tips on how to help your child make his or her very own perspective drawing; all you need is a ruler, paper, pen, and some imagination! Kids all over Palo Alto love this project; it’s easy and a creative way to engage your child in math. Without further ado, 5 steps to making your very own van Gogh-inspired perspective drawing:

How to Make a Van Gogh-Inspired Perspective Drawing

perspective math van gogh kids art project

  1. On your sheet of paper, use a ruler to draw a line straight across the center of the paper, like the one to the right.
  2. Somewhere on the line near the middle, make a small dot. This is your “vanishing point.”
  3. Make two lines crossing through the dot to make an “X” shape.
  4. Use these lines as guidelines to make buildings, trees, or–well–anything you want! Here is an example to the right you could try!
  5. Color your masterpiece and add details!

Congratulations, you’re done! Hang or frame your beautiful van Gogh masterpiece on your kitchen fridge or bedroom wall! Have fun with this cool perspective project and happy “mathing!”

~ Mathin’ Catherine, 6/2013

> Learn more about Math Tutoring at Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park


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