Monday, 28 January 2013

How to Paint Like Van Gogh

Would You Like to Create Images in the Style of Van Gogh?

Well, here's how... 

Paper thick enough to hold paint
Paint palette or a plate
Blue, Yellow, orange, white and green acrylic paints
PVA glue
Strong, thick bristle brush
A fork
The tip of your paintbrush
Water to hand for paintbrush
Wet wipes are also useful close by
Waterproof tablecloth and waterproof apron
PLEASE NOTE: Acrylics are a water-based paint, but once dry, are pretty permanent, so I advise you roll-up your sleeves and wear protective apron or old clothing!

We used Van Gogh's 'The Starry Night' masterpiece as our inspiration. You can see from the picture below how Van Gogh was very 'fluid' in his movement with the brush strokes... very free yet controlled but also, (I think) quite childlike, and so very appealing for children to try and replicate.

Also, very fun! :-)

Vincent Van Gogh is quoted as saying: "Looking at the stars always makes me dream."
As you can see, 'The Starry Night' shows the dazzling stars and dramatic night sky , with swirling brush strokes giving the scene a sense of movement.

STEP 1: On thick paper that can hold paint, sketch your swirly scene as the one above. You can adapt the scenery if you like, creating your own landscape. The main thing to do, though, when replicating Van Gogh's work is to remember to create big, bold, curly swirls!

The Colours I Have suggested At The Top Of This Article Are For A Summer Scene

Using bright acrylic paints mixed with a few dollops of PVA glue, simply work your paints on top of your hand-drawn picture. Van Gogh is known for imagery built from layers and layers of paint so thick, you can see the brush marks in it. (The beauty of acrylic paint is that it is already quite thick straight from the tube).

TOP TIP! Acrylics dry very quickly, so keep your paintbrushes moist in water and wash your pallets soon after use.

Top Tip from one of Abi's Art Skool's Young Artists: "It's easier to squidge PVA glue straight onto your drawings 'cos you already have a nice, thick layer to blend the paint into!" recommends Samuel, 9yrs.

 (Mums/Dad's/Teachers/Grandparents/Carers: This is also a good way to use your paints a little more economically). 

Paint was then squeezed onto the PVA and blended straight on the paper with a thick bristle paintbrush.
This is an ideal project for kids to do as the young Artists
can be very free and expressive with their brush strokes, as
Anthony demonstrates...
You can leave each layer to dry and put on another layer of PVA and paint until you have a 3-D effect built up.

STEP 3: Once you are happy with your paint build-up, you can use the tip of your paintbrush handle or a fork to add lines and swirls within the paint texture to create patterns!

STEP 4: Leave your masterpiece to dry and marvel how sometimes, the paint and PVA mixed together can create a wonderful marble effect!

Self-Portrait, By Vincent Van Gogh
A Bit About 
Vincent Van Gogh

Born in Holland in 1853, Vincent went on to try Teaching, preaching and some shop work.

Struggling with mental illness, Van Gogh threw himself into painting furiously, selling.... wait for it! Just One Picture during his lifetime! One picture!

This is almost hard to believe as nowadays, the famous masterpieces created by Vincent Van Gogh are worth millions and are seen by millions in art galleries and museums.

If only he knew his paintings were worthy of celebration by the masses when he was alive!

Sadly, the poor Artist became increasingly depressed, cutting off part of his ear after arguing with a friend! Van Gogh ended up in a mental hospital, and a year later, he ended his life.

Let's celebrate a couple more of Van Gogh's masterpieces here... You may recognise them! 
Here they are.
By Vincent Van Gogh... Do YOU Know What 
These Paintings are Called? Beautiful, aren't they?

Click here to discover how to: Paint Like Pop Artist, James Rizzi
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