National Gallery at Home: Van Gogh

A photograph of a child drawing, taken from above

Our Education team are bringing some of their family workshops to you online so that you can get creative at home!

Follow along with these simple steps to create your own picture of the view out your window, 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.

Choose a window in your house with an interesting view, and let's get started!

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National Gallery at Home

Van Gogh's Rooftops in Paris



  • 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.


Thank you to Ciara Lawlor, aged 7!

You can share your creations with us on our online channels using #NationalGalleryIRLAtHome, or email them to us at [email protected] - we'd love to see how you get on! 

This activity, which would normally have taken place in the Maples Group Creative Space, is now brought to you online.

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