Van Gogh, part 1

So this past week, I received a visit from my art advisor/mentor, Peter Yesis, and we went to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Just one word . . . WOW!!!  It's stunning without knowing about it!  But then we got to discussing how we thought Van Gogh went about creating the paintings.  Did he start with the background and work to foreground?  Did he start with a toned canvas and basic blocking of colors and then add the pulsing brush strokes?  Did he paint the shadows first and the main color last or was it the other way around? We analyzed everything we could in the timespan we had.  I especially loved the way he seemed to color or draw with the paintbrush, outlining the forms as he went - even the backgrounds outline the forms.  I left with the feeling that I'd like to try to paint in a similar style.  (Disclaimer: I know I'm not Van Gogh!!!)

I kept myself on a time limit in the studio - 15 to 20 minutes per study - since that's the time frame in which  I seem to capture the best drawings, or at least they seem to hold the most life.

The first one came out well.  Except I wasn't thinking like Van Gogh when I did the background.

The second one, I was definitely bolder, but I lost the form of the pears and the background would have been better in a color, like the blue background from Van Gogh's Two Cut Sunflowers.  Oh well, next time.  This was after all only trial number 1.

Josh Groban, Per Te and Alejate
(I had to listen to somewhat angst-filled music while I painted to break through my perfectionistic, highly-mental state and capture the paintings on a more emotional level.)