Kat: What’s wrong Princess Latte?
Princess Latte: Oh, I’m just having a really rough time with this. I’m working on Van Gogh’s Bedroom right now, but his lines are just really throwing me for a loop.
Kat: They are really strange, is that perspective on accident?
Princess Latte: No, it’s not an accident. Van Gogh did this on purpose. At the particular time he was working on this, he was very interested in Japanese woodblock prints, so the odd angles and the color blocks and, if you notice, the lack of shadows - it’s all on purpose. He actually really loved this piece too. He did three different versions of it, did you know that?
Kat: No. What did he do with the extra versions?
Princess Latte: They were for his family members.
Kat: That's so sweet.
Princess Latte: I know.
Kat: Well, at least you're doing the drawing so no one else has to.
Princess Latte: Thanks...
Kat: You're welcome!
So for Van Gogh’s Bedroom, what you’ll need is:
Ready to color in Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles? Let’s start with our light brown marker and start coloring in the floor first! Van Gogh keeps a pretty clean room, there’s nothing on the floor so you can see these wood boards. Do you see that my strokes look a lot like wood? These big strokes are the impressionist style. Instead of just coloring in the whole space without taking my pen off the page, I am making a lot of long marks and starting new ones.
Annnd my marker is starting to run out of ink near the end of this. Guess I’ve been doing too much coloring, huh? But that’s okay, because we’re going to go over the whole thing once again with yellow. This layering of colorings gives you a realistic look. Not to mention, the whole room is very yellow-tinted.
Now, we need to add shadows. So, the table and the chair are casting shadows on the ground, right? Just like you cast a shadow. Shadows aren’t actually black or grey, they’re a darker version of the color they’re on top of, so we’ll use a dark brown underneath them. The bed casts a little shadow too, but most of it is covered up, so we’ll put a dark outline around the bottom. We can use dark brown in place of the black line art. once again this just gives a more realistic feel.
You know what makes this painting very yellow? His bed is yellow! I’m going to use my yellow marker to color in his bed. Then, we’ll use the light brown we used before for the shading. We’ll color in the pillows and sheets with the same yellow, but because we didn’t use light brown on them, it looks pretty different. Now, his blanket is red, so you can use any red you have! I start with a regular red and then add a dark red on top. But it would look good in most colors.
Okay, this is the last big block of color! Let’s color in the walls a nice light blue. Yep, doors too. Then we’ll go over the doors with a dark blue. Any shade of blue you have that is darker than the one you just used for the walls is fine. I have a nice medium-blue that is similar to the light blue we just used. Now, I’ll add a little green to the lines on the doors for some personality. Now let’s color in the window in green. I’m going to start with a light green and then use a dark green to get the look I want. But really, any green you have in your marker box will look great.
The chairs are a lot like the bed. We will use a yellow and a light brown to get the same look as the wood from the bed. Then for the cushions we’ll use yellow. If you have some very light green in your marker box, I would add it to the lines on the chair to the left, and at the bottom to the chair next to the bed. This is a little closer to the color Van Gogh used. Don’t have light green? They look great in just yellow or even in regular green.
Now, the shutters for the window are closed. I’m going to color them in yellow first and then add some light green on top. Just like the chairs before, if you don’t have light green, you can either just leave them yellow or use whatever green you have.
This frame to the left is a mirror - you can just leave it with the lines that are already there or I’m going to color it in a little grey. Just in the top-left to show the reflection of the walls. Then we’ll color in the frame, I’m doing dark blue, but it’s fine in any color.
Now this is where you can get creative and add your own touch to this Van Gogh painting! First, color the frames however you would like. I left the pictures in the frames blank so that you can fill them in with whatever little drawings you’d like. I’m going to go ahead and color mine in, but you can draw them with pencil first if it helps. I live in a place where there are a lot of trees, so let’s draw a tree on a hill. And this is Van Gogh right? So I’ll try to make this look like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Irises. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can just be fun. In this little one, I think I’ll just color in a heart. Can you tell it’s a heart? I’m not really sure.
Let’s see, let’s make this table a medium-brown. Do you have a brown that’s darker than what we used for the floors? Let’s use that to draw in this table. First I’m going to use yellow then put that medium-brown over it. But leave the top blank! You can draw any of the things you have in your room that you’d love to have here. I’m going to draw in a coffee mug, because I always have a cup of coffee with me. That’s why they call me Latte! I love Van Gogh, so let’s write “I <3 VG on it.” And I always have a book on my table, let’s put that next to my mug. Andddd color it in…
Let’s fill in everything that we haven’t colored in yet! There are some clothes hanging on a board in the background. You can color these and the towel hanging on the left whatever color you like. Or you can use the same green, grey, and blue that I’m using. Then, color in the board holding them up medium-brown. And there! You’re done! Is it amazing? It’s time to hang it up on your fridge.
Alright! We’re done with Van Gogh’s bedroom. Geez, I wish my bedroom was that clean. And we have the perfect spot for it on the refrigerator.
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