Monday, September 14, 2015

A Dry Van Gogh

Any art teacher worth his or her salt has taught at least a couple dozen
 lessons spot lighting Vincent van Gogh.
Many of these involve painting of some sort.
But sometimes painting just doesn't work when classes are on a shortened
schedule or supplies are limited.

Enter a dry van Gogh.

For this challenge I am interpreting a van Gogh original in oil pastels.
I begin with a colored pencil line drawing on a chosen colored background.
Then break out the oil pastels and lay in my slashes of color.

van Gogh was a Post Impressionist. 
It always makes me a bit crazy to see him referred to as an Impressionist.
Am I being picky? Maybe.
Although all the Post Impressionist, 
van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Cezanne,
to name a few, began as Impressionists, 
they purposefully set out to differentiate themselves from the movement.

For the most part they did not choose to blend their colors but to make 
separate marks on the canvas, side by side, to compose the image.
As in van Gogh with his slashes, Seurat with dots, 
Gauguin with bold fields of color and Cezanne with side by side small blocks of color.

Using oil pastels is an interesting way of getting this point across to the young student.
It is not for the faint of heart.
It takes lots of time and patience.
So for the middle schooler it is a good activity kept ongoing to take out for those odd class times.
By the end of the semester they were pretty proud of themeselves and their finished pieces.

I have cut out my finish in the shape of a vase just for fun.
Taking this to a big kid level has given me some ideas for future projects.
How beautiful as a graphic floral or still life? A portrait?

Something new, for me at least, to try someday.


  1. LOVE it Carmella. I'm a big fan of van Gogh's work and of yours.

    1. Thank you Sandy. Your abstracts for the challenge have been inspiring!

  2. This is amazing Carmella! You did a beautiful job recreating his strokes and colors. It's a unique twist to shape the painting into a vase.


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