Still Life with Students


Students learn about different artistic styles by viewing different still life paintings of flowers. Then they will try to imitate the style of their choosing.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Explain that a "still life" painting is a painting of inanimate objects (for example, flowers, fruit, books).
  2. Show students different works of art (see suggestions below). Ask students what all of these works of art have in common. They all depict flowers. Ask students what differences they can find. Mondrian's flower is very detailed and realistic; Warhol's flowers are bright and not very detailed; van Gogh's flowers have softer colors and are more realistic; Martin's painting is not a realistic depiction of a flower; O'Keeffe's flowers are bright and take up the whole canvas.
  3. Display a vase of flowers.
  4. Distribute art supplies and instruct students to draw or paint the flowers, imitating the style of one of the artworks discussed by the class.
  5. When finished, have students share their art with the class. Students can guess which style one another imitated. Ask students to explain why they chose the style they did.
  6. If you'd like, create a bulletin board for the students' artwork.

Teaching Options

Internet Resources

Piet Mondrian, Chrysanthemum

Andy Warhol, Flowers's.htm

Agnes Martin, White Flower

Vincent van Gogh, Basket with Pansies on a Table

Georgia O'Keeffe, Oriental Poppies