For my final project, I wanted to continue to work on Van Gogh markings. I used a photograph I had taken at Creamer’s Field during the fall as a guideline. As I mentioned in my proposal, the photograph itself has a luminism feel to it and part of the challenge would be converting it to Van Gogh’s impressionist style. I accomplished this through a focus on overall shapes and the way they flow versus trying to capture every detail. I relied heavily on brushstrokes to convey depth, direction and texture. For example, the brushstrokes in the water are a little longer and fluid than the grass.
My intention was to stick to a triadic color scheme of green, orange and purple and I think I was fairly successful, though the yellow and some blue is featured more than I had initially intended. The bulk of the picture (maybe about 75%) was painted using solely pthalo blue, yellow and orange. I was surprised at the versatility you could get from three colors by simply mixing in different ratios and overlapping layers of paint. I was worried it would be mottled and hard to differentiate where one part of the painting ended and the other began. It forced me to make bolder color choices, such as painting pure orange over the tops of the bushes where the sun would hit. I don’t know that I would have tried this otherwise. Previous to taking this class, I would’ve thought it wouldn’t work; the orange would be too loud and just look weird on it. I’m really glad I tried it though because I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. It really lends itself to that “golden hour” feel which may have been lost otherwise.
The markings themselves were tricky to figure out at first, but once I got the hang of blending (but not really blending) the short brushstrokes, it started to really come along. The sky was a several night-long endeavor, as was the lake. The background took a significant amount of time, too, but it was really from several attempts at reinterpreting the photo so it would be more conducive to the markings, without making everything mesh into one giant, unidentifiable thing.
Overall, I’m really happy with the outcome. It has been a long, long time since I painted anything and with that being said, this is my first original painting. I think the colors work well together and the brushstrokes are reminiscent of Van Gogh to me.