Hands on with Master Kitz: The Starry Night

It was a little bit of a quiet day at Pufferbellies. (Yes, we get those every once in a while!) So Susan F and I decided to get some hands-on experience with a Master Kitz art kit by Kidzaw. Master Kitz guide children (and grownups) through the process of creating art inspired by masterworks — in this case, The Starry Night by van Gogh. We’ve carried these kits since last year, but I’d never had the chance to really use one before. I’m sorry I waited so long.

The kit has everything you need — a texture roller, a foam roller, acrylic paint, oil pastels, a gorgeous “composition stencil,” and high-quality art paper in a great size for framing (16″x20″). Plus, you get beautifully written step-by-step “inspiration” (not instructions!). You get the colors you need to capture the feeling of the original piece — the oil pastels are white, light blue, dark blue, orange and yellow, and the paints are blue, white and black. Instead of saying, “you can mix yellow and blue to get green,” the inspiration sheet simply says, “don’t be afraid to mix colors.” These words are clearly chosen carefully — I wanted green for my fields and the famous cypress tree in the foreground, but there wasn’t a green pastel. With the gentle encouragement to not be afraid, I was able to make many shades of green using the pastels in the kit — and I felt a little surge of accomplishment!

I’m so pleased that I got to spend some time with this kit today — it’s so well done, and I learned a lot about the artist and about the art itself. While we worked, Susan and I found ourselves talking about van Gogh’s life, asking questions about the materials he used in the original painting, and even hopping online to learn about the ingredients in oil pastels and acrylic paints. We were so taken with the project, we just wanted to keep learning more.

Kidzaw recommends the kits in their line for ages 5 to 105, and that seems right on the money to me. This would be a fantastic gift for a teenager or adult interested in learning about art and creating something beautiful — and, of course, a lovely gift for a child. At $30, I think it’s worth every penny. There’s so much to learn and experience, and you’ll end up with two simply gorgeous works of art to hang in your home or give as gifts.

master kitz the starry night

My "masterpiece" inspired by van Gogh's The Starry Night. Created with the help of Kidzaw's Master Kitz.

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