Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Ode to the Original Daily Painter
As I've mentioned before, master copies (even loose interpretations) are a tried and true learning tool for learn new painting techniques. I promise they will also give you a new appreciate for their work, color sense, and vision.
This painting was no exception. Following in Vincent's brush steps, so to speak, I was constantly reminded to change the direction of my brush strokes and keep my thick, impasto oil colors clean and high energy at every turn. I also took note his use of signature dark lines and mastery of complementary colors. Every time I take the time to examine a Van Gogh at length, I can't help but feel he's left them behind as some kind of urgent yet timeless message to all the painters who dare follow him.
Before painting, I considered some of the 19th century pigments (many of course now considered fugitive or poisonous or both) Vincent would have had on his little wooden palette such as emerald or Paris green, lamp black, yellow ochre, lead white, chrome yellow, Prussian blue, etc.
For color history geeks like me, here's an interesting article regarding master painter palettes. For this little 9 x 12 oil study (the original is approx. 21 x 25), I chose a more contemporary palette of Ultramarine, Thalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Indian Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Cad. Red Light, and Permalba White--which I thought was a fantastic autumn palette. I also used relatively small brushes to help imitate the undulating texture.
Thanks again to all my students (and Vincent!) who continue to inspire me with their work! See you in the studio!