Van Gogh's Cottages - Paint with Me

How to color cottages

Cottages Video Transcript

Plein Air

Kat: Hey Princess Latte, what are you working on today?
Princess Latte: Hey Kat, today I’m working on coloring some of Van Gogh’s Cottages.
Kat: Ohhh. He did a whole series of those, didn’t he? Which one are you working on?
Princess Latte: These particular ones are Cottages Reminiscence of the North.
Kat: Well, it sure is beautiful. Did he paint that from memory in his hospital room?
Princess Latte: No, actually he got special permission from the hospital to go out and paint it while on walks.
Kat: Reminiscence… so, like a memory?
Princess Latte: Yeah. Kinda like a dream.
Kat: Did he often paint from memory?
Princess Latte: With Gauguin’s influence he did.
Kat: Okay. Do you every draw or paint from memory?
Princess Latte: Actually I do. And I did a picture of you from memory. Do you want to see?
Kat: Yes, I’d love to see it.


For Van Gogh’s Cottages, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. You’ll need a coloring page, which you can get from the link below.
  2. You’ll also need markers. I like copic markers, but they can be really expensive, so any brand will do. Just make sure you have two of each color.
  3. And you’ll want to spread down some posterboard or maybe newspaper because with these we’ll be coloring right to the edge of the paper.
  4. And last, don’t forget to bring your creativity.

How To Color Van Gogh's Cottages

So let’s start coloring in Van Gogh’s Cottages! Let’s begin with the sky. This painting is a memory of a village, so the style is more loose. It looks like a relatively dreary day, maybe around sunset. Let’s start with a light grey, like clouds just before a rain. But don’t color it in too dark! Make big strokes and try to leave a little white space like I do. That’s because we’re going to add a bunch of other colors. Let’s start with some yellow, giving these clouds a little darkness. If you have some peach, let’s use that too, just use yellow if you don’t have peach. And we’ll add a little green.

Color the smoke coming out of the cottages dark grey. The villagers likely didn’t have electricity to light their houses or work their ovens, so they probably have fires going right now to cook their food and keep their homes warm and bright. Then we’ll add yellow, peach, and green just like we did before. Maybe even a little orange to make it darker.

Now, we’ll take some red and color in the sun. It’s like a setting sun – kind of red-orange. If you don’t have red-orange in your marker box, you can just use red. We’ll use the same color around the lines in the sky defining the clouds. That is the sun peaking through. We can add some orange near the red too. This image isn’t very realistic because it’s the memory of cottages against a cloud-covered sunset, not a painting he’s done from life as usual. So, It’s okay to draw things in colors that don’t look quite true to life.

Let’s use the same red or red-orange for the brick chimneys and the brick roof of this one extension of this first cottage. Then, most of these cottages have thatched roofs. Do you know what that means? Thatching is when you use a bunch of straw or reeds like straw to make building materials. So, straw is yellow because it’s dried but also somewhat green because it’s a plant. We’ll start out with yellow and leave the edges mostly yellow. But then I’ll take my green and go over it. Do the same over and over for all the roofs.

We started with the top of the houses with kind of yellow, then colored in the rest of the walls grey. Then, let’s add a darker grey to some of these walls. It looks somewhat like shading, but it adds a lot of interest so our cottages don’t all look exactly the same. All the shutters on these houses are green, but if you want to make them look even more unique, you can use different colors.

Then, let’s color in these mountains in the distance. A nice medium-grey is great for the mountains. For coloring the straw road, first we begin with our yellow. Then we add grey beneath. Perhaps this is the gravel or any number of things used to make this road more passable. Now, we seem to be growing the same straw we used to make the roofs. Color these with the same yellow and the same green you used on the roof, only making strokes in the direction of the grass.

Did you notice the man in the bottom right corner when you first saw the painting? I didn’t, because Van Gogh painted him with mostly the same colors he used for the grasses. You can color him in that way, or you can color him in however you like. I’m using dark blue to make him more shadow-like so that you can see exactly where he is.

Beautiful! Now you have some lovely Van Gogh Cottages.

Good Job

Alright, we finally finished up Van Gogh’s Cottages! It looks great.

you can also download ACROBAT READER here