This week, we brightened up The Studio with our Van Gogh-inspired sunflower acrylic paintings.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853. He had two brothers and three sisters. He was closest to his younger brother, Theo. Vincent loved to draw as a child, and by the time he was 27 years old, he had devoted his whole life to painting.
When Vincent first began painting, he painted images from his surroundings, which were a bit gloomy. Therefore, he used dark, sad colors.
When he moved to Paris, he noticed the work of the famous Impressionist painters like Renoir and their use of bright, unmixed colors. Artists placed opposing colors next to each other to bring out their intensity. Yellow would be painted next to purple, red next to greens, etc.
Van Gogh started using brighter colors and painting with short brushstrokes. He was part of a group of painters called Post-Impressionists.
He painted hundreds of pictures, sometimes finishing a single painting daily. But then he became unwell and moved into a hospital so others could take care of him. Van Gogh painted seriously for about nine years and painted almost 900 paintings. Sadly he only sold one painting before he died at age 37. He died in 1890.
Sunflowers, 1888, Oil on Canvas, Post-
Impressionism, National Gallery of London
Yellow was the color of happiness for Van Gogh. It was painted during a rare period of excited optimism while Van Gogh awaited the arrival of his hero, the avant-garde painter Paul Gauguin. The 'Sunflowers' was intended to impress Gauguin and was a gesture of friendship.
We started our project last week by drawing our own versions of this famous painting by Van Gogh.
We then transferred our drawings to a canvas and painted our Sunflowers in a Van Gogh style.
Painting Like Van Gogh:
Van Gogh was an Expressionist painter who applied colors to his canvas using short, choppy brush strokes. We talked about how to use our brush strokes to express the feeling of the painting.
The Gritty Details of our Painting Steps:
Jamie Lightfoot is an oil painter and owner of Picket Fence Art Studio.