Paint your Own Van Gogh

Paint your own Van Gogh: Guided painting August 3, 2019

On Saturday I ran this term’s Guided Painting class. This time I tried something different. I offered two images to choose from, my take of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and his Sunflowers.

I have run a kid’s holiday Van Gogh workshop a couple of times. The first one was one of my first artist themed workshops. The class devolved into a guided painting session as I took the children through each step with colour mixes. It was chaotic to say the least. I have learnt so much since then and my second Van Gogh workshop during the Easter Break 2019 was so much better. This time we worked in pastels which was simpler for everyone. The great thing about both these workshops was how well the kids responded to the work of Van Gogh. They loved it. I had so many comments from parents and adults saying how much fun it looked and they wished they could have a go.

I have always loved Van Gogh’s paintings. His work was one of the first art history lessons at Art College, although the painting studied was “The Potato Eaters”, which is dreary brown and depicts absolute poverty in the Netherlands. Despite the more famous of Van Gogh’s images being reproduced on anything from jigsaw puzzles to socks and even an episode of Dr. Who, nothing beats seeing them in real life. I have seen the originals in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The vibrancy and surface of the originals is astounding

Making a painting inspired by the great man was tricky. I don’t work in oils or use impasto paint application. ( Impasto is paint applied thickly with texture.) I approached both images with the same methodology of all my Guided Painting classes. The canvas is under painted, this time with orange. I draw on a simple outline of the image. The main colour areas are blocked in with a mid-tone value. Then darks are applied to the left side of all the elements. Lights are applied to the right side of elements. Then the real fun started, pattern in the form of marks and lines was applied to mimic Van Gogh’s energetic paint application and signature look.

I was nervous to see if the class on Saturday would succeed and the good news is it went well. One lady was a complete beginner, one hadn’t been to a class for ages and another lady last came along about a year ago. The results were great.

Several regular students couldn’t make this week’s class so I’m offering the second date. I am running the class on August 17; booking is in products or follow the link.

 You can also buy tickets through Eventbrite