Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, the eldest son of a Dutch Reformed minister and a bookseller’s daughter, pursued various vocations, including that of an art dealer and clergyman, before deciding to become an artist at the age of twenty-seven. Over the course of his decade-long career (1880–90), he produced nearly 900 paintings and more than 1,100 works on paper. Ironically, in 1890, he modestly assessed his artistic legacy as of “very secondary” importance.
Largely self-taught, Van Gogh gained his footing as an artist by zealously copying prints and studying nineteenth-century drawing manuals and lesson books, such as Charles Bargue’s Exercises au fusain and cours de dessin. He felt that it was necessary to master black and white before working with color, and first concentrated on learning the rudiments of figure drawing and rendering landscapes in correct perspective.
Interested in honing his skills as a figure painter, Van Gogh left the Netherlands in late 1885 to study at the Antwerp Academy in Belgium. Three months later, he departed for Paris, where he lived with his brother Theo, an art dealer with the firm of Boussod, Valadon et Cie, and for a time attended classes at Fernand Cormon’s studio. Van Gogh’s style underwent a major transformation during his two-year stay in Paris (February 1886–February 1888). There he saw the work of the Impressionists first-hand and also witnessed the latest innovations by the Neo-Impressionists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. In response, Van Gogh lightened his palette and experimented with the broken brushstrokes of the Impressionists as well as the pointillist touch of the Neo-Impressionists, as evidenced in the handling of his Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (67.187.70a), which was painted in the summer of 1887 on the reverse of an earlier peasant study (67.187.70b). In Paris, he executed more than twenty self-portraits that reflect his ongoing exploration of complementary color contrasts and a bolder style. -Met Museum
Van Gogh was inspired by the Impressionists color and short brush strokes. He highlighted these techniques as the world entered into Post Impressionism.
EXERCISE # 3
LEARN HOW TO PAINT LIKE VAN GOGH
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- A PIECE OF CANVAS PAPER
- OIL PAINTS (RED, BLUE, YELLOW AND WHITE)
- PAINT BRUSHES
- PAINT THINNER
- PAINT BRUSH CLEANER
- SKETCH PAD OR SCRAP PAPER
- DRAWING PENCIL
BEFORE WE GET STARTED - REMEMBER THESE THINGS:
GESTURE FAST (WITH PENCIL FIRST)
REMEMBER YOU CAN'T MESS UP - YOU CAN PAINT OVER IT
SPEND TIME MIXING PAINT - LARGE AMOUNTS
FIND YOUR LIGHTEST LIGHTS AND DARKEST DARKS
APPLY PAINT QUICKLY AT FIRST THEN SLOW DOWN AND ADJUST SHAPE, CHECK PROPORTIONS AND POSITIONING.
ADD POPS OF COLORS AT THE END.
IN THIS LESSON WE WILL FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING TECHNIQUES THAT WE SEE IN VAN GOGH'S PAINTINGS:
SHORT/QUICK BRUSH STROKES
THICK APPLICATION OF THE PAINT
BRIGHT VIBRANT COLORS
MOVEMENT - USING CURVES TO CREATE MOVEMENT
LIGHTS VS. DARKS
WE WILL BE PAINTING TWO DIFFERENT IMAGES IN THIS EXERCISE. THE FIRST ONE WILL BE FROM A PICTURE. THE REASON FOR THIS IS SO THAT THE STUDENT CAN COMPARE THEIR WORK TO SYDNEY'S WORK. THE IDEA IS NOT FOR THE STUDENT TO COPY WHAT SYDNEY DOES BUT TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHAT NEEDS TO BE LEARNED IN THIS LESSON. THE SECOND VIDEO WILL BE FROM LIFE. SYDNEY WILL BE PAINTING SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THE STUDENT BUT THE SAME IDEAS APPLY.