My daughter recreated Van Gogh's self portrait using chalk pastels.
After visiting the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, he became the favorite artist of my 7 year old. We have visited tons of museums, and she never really liked any of them. I think she liked the Van Gogh museum because it was filled with color. Upon leaving, she requested a book from the gift shop. Since she has never done this before and seemed genuinely interested in Van Gogh, we purchased a book.
All that's required for this project is a sheet of paper, chalk pastels and a picture of Van Gogh's self portrait. My daughter began with the face and continued to layer color down toward the beard and up toward the hair. She was careful not to mix the color, but to layer it.
This was a completely self-directed project and an example of a successful interest based education philosophy activity.