This is a super fun painting activity! We had so much fun that the kids wanted to do it twice. I love Van Gogh, he is one of my favorite artists. His paintings are filled with movement, texture and bright bold colors. Your kids will love to paint like Van Gogh using forks. Kids of all ages will have fun with this one, the younger ones will treat this as more of a process art activity(like my four-year-old did) but the results will still be awesome!
Create your own Van Gogh fork painting
This post contains affiliate links. If you would like more information please review my disclosure policy here.
- paper – we used 12×12 white scrapbooking paper
- acrylic paint in 3-5 colors. You will need to use quite a bit of paint since the paint will be applied thickly, so cheap acrylic paint will work just fine. I used a mish-mash of paint that we had, some dollar store paint and some from the craft store.
- paint trays
- painters tape to tape down the paper
- wooden boards or some type of surface to tape your paper to. Sometimes we use wooden boards, other times I just tape our paper down on the tablecloth.
Van Gogh fork painting: Instructions
Learn a bit about Vincent Van Gogh
1. We started by reading the book “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Vincent Van Gogh”. I love this series because it teaches kids about artists in a really relatable way with fun cartoon drawings and lots of pictures. The books are easy to read and holds kids attention. My kids really liked learning a bit about Van Gogh’s life and the types of pictures that he painted.
We looked more closely at his Starry Night painting and how the brushstrokes made the sky seem to move and come alive.
Van Gogh really made his paintings come alive with movement. He achieved this with the use of color, his type of brushstrokes and using very thick paint, sometimes even squeezing the paint right onto his canvas from a tube. This technique is called impasto.
Start your masterpiece!
2. First, tape the paper down to your painting surface with painters tape. This helps keep the paper from sliding around and also gives it a nice frame when it’s finished.
3. Draw out your painting in pencil. We did hills, a cypress tree, a moon and then a few circles for the stars. Keep it simple.
4. Start painting! Keep reminding the kids to put the paint on really thick, this will help with the fork part.
5. After they have painted for a bit, they can start to use the forks. We moved back and forth between laying on thick paint and using the forks to create our movement. It’s fun to try out different ways that the forks can make patterns in the paper. Straight lines, short wavy lines, long curvy lines, fork painting is super fun!
6. If your paint is drying fast, then you will want to paint just a few brushstrokes and then use a fork to ensure that the fork can create the texture in the wet paint.
7. Once done, let the paint completely dry before removing the painters tape to ensure that no buckling of the paper occurs.
Our beautiful finished paintings:
This project was super fun and engaging for both me and the kids and I know that we will be doing this again soon! Van Gogh’s Sunflowers would also be a great painting to try with this technique. Painting any subject using forks adds a whole new dimension and really lends a unique quality to any painting project.
If you are looking more fun painting projects, check out this printmaking project using recycled materials.
Pin this project for later