Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Paint Like Van Gogh!

"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream."       ~ Vincent van Gogh

Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting (of many) may be his "Starry Night", which he painted from his asylum room at Saint-Paul-De-Mausole (into which he had committed himself after a nervous breakdown). Most van Gogh art lessons seem to be based on this painting, so we decided to look at some of his other magnificent works for inspiration. (I like to be different.) My personal favorite is "Irises" and since we were ready for another garden painting, that was the one we chose!

We painted this with tempera paint on watercolor paper. First we drew our irises (including leaves and stems) with black oil pastel using How to Draw an Iris in Five Easy Steps. Then, we finger painted!!! We dabbed on the paint with the tip of our index finger using two or three colors and color mixtures at a time. We smeared, we stroked, and we blotted, using our finger like a paintbrush. We found that finger painting made the flower petals super easy to paint!

After the paint was completely dry, we outlined everything again with black pastel (or black crayon) and added a few more details.

Sadly, van Gogh was never famous as a painter during his lifetime, and he constantly struggled with poverty and depression. He only sold one painting while he was alive, but because of his obsession with painting he seldom ate and neglected his health. Van Gogh died at the age of 37. 

"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul."  ~ Vincent van Gogh

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