Van Gogh Style Finger-Paint Printing

Create some beautiful art work with kids, inspired by the great Van Gogh, using just paint, fingers and paper! Easy, child-centred, open-ended and stunning!

We’ve been inspired by the great artist Vincent Van Gogh for our latest Kids Get Arty project! The children had a look at The Starry Night in our art books and at pictures online and we talked about the effects he created in the night sky, using swirls and dabs of paint.
Vincent Van Gogh- The Starry Night
 It’s important to start by just looking and talking about great art before creating, and finding out about the subject matter and how they approached it is great for adding context and a bit of art historical understanding!
We decided to have a go at simply swirling and mixing colours using paint and fingers and then using the patterns created to lift off prints! Pop poured some blue paint onto a baking sheet covered in tin foil.
Next, she added white and yellow (the other colours we could see in his night sky depiction) and used both hands to swirl around and make marks with her fingertips.
WE carefully laid a piece of paper over the top and lifted it off to reveal a lovely pattern had been left as a print. The first couple were a little paint-heavy, so by the 3rd and subsequent prints they turned out really clearly and beautifully. We left the first prints to dry with plans to return!

 Later we came back to add more layers of print over the top, to create further dimension and detail to the swirly night sky. This time she poured a darker blue straight onto the baking sheet and repeated the process.

 We added gold for some reflection of the stars and moon and by the time we had finished we had about 4 layers of print over the top of each other. The results were stunning!

 These are going to be framed in pride of place in our home near our creative area. This art was very much inspired by Van Gogh and not an attempt to copy his picture in any way, thus leaving the focus on developing artistic skills with an open-ended result, not aiming for a finished carbon-copy.

We will definitely be returning to this easy-peasy finger printing method with lots of other bright colours very soon. I feel a huge, collaborative wall art project coming on!

Red Ted Art

Pop: 2 years 5 months

Have you created ART with your children recently? Tell us about it or, even better, link up your post below! Check out Red Ted Art for more about this ongoing project!


  1. says

    What a great idea and so good for them to be able to do it all themselves and enjoy the process, definitely going to give this a go with my 2 year old, she’d love it. Ellie

  2. says

    Great idea-one of mine would love to get his hands into paint. You may know but there is a new “Katie” book, by James Mayhew, in which this picture features. It is called. I think, Katie and the Starry night.

  3. says

    I love this idea! I would also love to know what art books you like. I’m not much of an art buff myself and so I feel a little lost thinking about how to introduce my little ones to great art!

  4. says

    Oh Anna, you are AMAZING (but I think you knew that anyway!!) – I love this project. So cool. Love how it is 100% preschooler perfect and how beautiful the final result is. Brilliant. Love. Can’t wait to have go with my two!

    So pleased you are co-hosting Kids Get Arty!