Friday, October 15, 2010

Farm House Van Gogh Style

This painting was done with oil on 20x26" stretched canvas at the Anastasia Art House.

The mission for the project was to do a painting in van Gogh's style. I picked a relatively simple composition - farm house and trees. At first I thought van Gogh's paintings were mostly bright contrasting color and big strokes. Not until I started working did I have an appreciation of van Gogh's style was actually not as simple as it seemed.

For one thing, there was actually a system in his loose brush strokes. The colors were actually "traveling" in groups, rather than a stroke here and there. Attention to contrasting color was also apparent in his brush strokes as well.

Before I started with the painting, I looked up a Van Gogh book that I had. I liked the depiction of the clouds in his Starry Night painting, and also the trees in his Cypress paintings. So I thought I would use some of those van Gogh elements in my painting.

The main contrasting colors were blue and orange, and other colors "derived" from these colors to stay coherent. The clouds were not exactly spiral like the Starry Night, as I wanted them to look like ribbons in the sky instead. The trees on the left were modeled after Van Gogh's Cypress trees. Strong straight edges were changed to curves to be consistent with the overall curved feeling in this painting.

After this exercise, I definitely have a new appreciation for Van Gogh's paintings.

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