Concentric, Colorful Swirls

Concentric, Colorful Swirls lesson plan

Create colorful pictures with super swirly lines, much like famous artist Vincent van Gogh. The brilliant colors magically appear with Crayola® Color Explosion™ Markers and Paper!

  • 1.

    Look at art by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and learn a bit about his life. He battled illnesses and many setbacks. Sometimes he felt dizzy with frustration. When he created his paintings, this dizziness came out as great swirling lines of paint. Van Gogh really loved to show how he felt with the colors he used, too.

  • 2.

    You can achieve a similar effect without being dizzy! Awesome Crayola Color Explosion Paper and Markers assure brilliant colors every time!

  • 3.

    Plan how you want your swirls to look. Use van Gogh’s Starry Night for inspiration. Your drawing might include important features such as mountains, cypress trees, stars, and buildings. Create your swirls any way you wish!

  • 4.

    With the Color Explosion Paper and Markers, draw the most important features first. To make thick lines, hold the marker at an angle. For thin lines, hold it straight up and down.

  • 5.

    After you outline your basic objects, add lots of swirly lines around them. Fill areas with swirling lines that follow the same path. Let your marker have fun!


  • Students explore the life and work of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
  • Students interpret van Gogh’s art by creating their own designs.
  • Students explore different types of lines and experiment with filling in areas with lots of concentric swirls.


  • Research van Gogh’s work. Create illustrations similar to those he did. Bind them together or display them in a timeline of his work.
  • Find other artists who used distinctive styles and bold colors. Emulate their styles with Color Explosion Paper and Markers.
  • Search for concentric circles in nature, geometry, textile designs, and other uses.
  • Assessment: Students are successful if they create an identifiable picture, primarily with concentric swirling lines