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This lesson uses Impressionist Van Gogh’s Starry Night to teach the hatching technique (cross-curricular ideas included)




9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Van Gogh with the Flow!
By – Cecilia Elizondo-Valdez
Primary Subject – Art
Grade Level – 9-12

Topic: Hatching


  • TLW become cognizant of the Impressionistic style of Vincent van Gogh and background on the artist
  • TLW become familiar with value/drawing technique of hatching.


      Pencils, erasers, markers, large manila drawing paper, visuals, print of

Starry Night

    or any other Van Gogh work with lots of hatch-like line.


    Hold out a coloring book–open it, and tack it up on the board. Begin to color in one page, as they normally would. “How am I doing class?” Once they comment on how well you’re doing, go to the opposite page and begin to fill in the picture using hatch marks–Ask again, “How am I doing?” The class will of course be in an uproar–explain that what you are doing is called “Hatching” and then go on to explain a bit more in depth as to technique. This is your introduction into direct instruction.

Direct Instruction:

  • Explain hatching
  • Give examples of hatching in art
  • Intro Van Gogh and display print of Starry Night
  • Explain how he used tiny lines to create his works
  • Model technique
  • Have some student volunteers come up to board and demonstrate correct hatching technique
  • Model steps of how to draw a rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night (example: “Draw the big shapes first, then begin filling them in with hatch marks…” etc.)

Independent Practice:

      Students will create a hatching study of Van Gogh’s

Starry Night Closure:

    Q&A; —- “What is hatching? How did we use hatching? In what ways was your design like Van Gogh’s design? How was yours different? How would you change it?”


      I give a photocopy outline of

Starry Night

    to slower-paced learners; depending on ability, they can hatch right on the copy or trace it.

GT Extensions:

  • Compose a poem about how Van Gogh was feeling when he created Starry Night
  • Write a short narrative entitled The Starry Night, based on the work.
  • Have students act out an impromptu skit about how Van Gogh may have found inspiration behind the work.


  • Science–astronomy, night/day
  • Social Studies–Dutch culture

E-Mail Cecilia Elizondo-Valdez !

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