Monday, May 15, 2006

(a perfect Mother's Day)

This is what can get done when I actually get both my little ones down for a nap!

Yesterday, they napped from 2 - 4 pm. I jumped at the chance to start working on this reproduction of Starry Night by Van Gogh. This is the largest thing on canvas I have ever painted... about 36" x 40". The stretched canvas is actually supported with extra wood, it's so big. It is not finished (scroll down to see the photo) as you can see at the bottom area, I need to put in the buildings, and then there is some detail work and refining to be done plus varnishing, but all in all, I think a major amount of work was done in the mere 2 hours. I am doing this painting in acrylic paint and using brushes - VanGogh used his palette knife to paint with a heavy amount of paint (called impasto painting) . On occasion I tried to use my palette knives to texturize, but acrylic paint simply dries too fast for that. The basic palette is Ultramarine Blue, Black, and White. Other colors are Burnt Umber and Brown.

I did find out some interesting things while painting this...or, should I say, I theorized some things while painting this...I think VanGogh created a lot of the colors in this artwork partially by accident. One color brushing against another in the flow of movement created a new color or tone, which he might not have meant to do, but the results were wonderful. I found that I made the same 'accidental' discoveries while trying to mimic the strokes. Some artists second guess themselves all the time and get overly perfectionistic ...but look at how lovely these possible mistakes can be! After all, chocolate chip cookies started out as a 'mistake.'

My other theory regards the burgundy color that is at the center of many of the's a color that is not part of the basic palette, which leads me to think he had another palette going from another painting that may have had that color mixed on it, and he just grabbed it from the other palette (working in oils, that would be easy and very oil palette would take months to dry out).

I will have more photos to share soon - I'm having trouble uploading pictures today.


Jan said...

That looks marvelous!!!!

Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

Thanks Jan~!


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