National Gallery at Home: Van Gogh

A photograph of a child drawing, taken from above

Follow these simple steps to create your own picture of the view out your window, inspired by Vincent van Gogh's painting Rooftops in Paris.

Choose a window in your house with an interesting view, and let's get started! You'll find all the materials and instructions listed below.

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National Gallery at Home

Van Gogh's Rooftops in Paris


Materials and instructions

You will need:

  • Grey card e.g. a cereal box
  • A pencil
  • Colours! We used pastels, but you can use crayons, pencils, paints - whatever you like.
  • A view out a window! You can take a photo of it, or set yourself up to draw in front of it.


  1. To begin, use your pencil to mark out the lines of the window frame and the view outside.
  2. Use chalks, crayons, pencils, or whatever you have available, to colour in sections of your drawing.
  3. Blend the colours, like Van Gogh, to create depth in your picture. If you're using chalk, you can use your fingers to blend the colours.
  4. Use blues, purples and white in layers to fill in the sky.
  5. Using black chalk, charcoal, or pencil, add in some final details.

Share your artwork!

Would you like to see your artwork featured on the Gallery's website? Take a photo of your artwork and send it to us by email ([email protected]) or using this online form to upload your picture. We'll feature a selection of pictures in the Creative Challenge Gallery, so check back to see if yours is included!

Upload a picture of your artwork using this form


Inspired by ...

Detail from Rooftops in Paris Detail from Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), 'Rooftops in Paris', 1886. © National Gallery of Ireland

This activity is inspired by Vincent van Gogh's painting Rooftops in Paris. Van Gogh painted the view from his window in Paris, using perspective to show buildings close up and far away. He painted the muted colours of the buildings and sky on an overcast day in Paris.



Thank you to Ciara Lawlor, aged 7!

About our Gallery at Home videos:

Inspired by works in our collection and exhibitions, our creative activities encourage families to work together to create their own artworks. They are specially produced videos for babies, older children and for those who require sensory input. You can find all the workshops in this series here. Enjoy!

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