Style and Techniques of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is the most remembered artist from the Dutch Golden Age who is known to have an intricate painting style. However, no one has been close to his expertise in watercolors and oil paints. 

Vincent was a self-taught artist who gave more than 2000 incredible artworks to the art world. His urgency to paint dazzling artistic drawings set him apart from other artists. Most of his paintings are completed in less than one day with in-depth detail and sheer elegance. The Starry Nights and Cafe Night at Terrace are its living proof. 

 Thousands of art lovers find his work intriguing and want to know more about his artistic forte for those who wish to learn about the style and techniques of Vincent van Gogh in the creative dimensions. So keep navigating the segment below. 

Materials and Experimental Techniques by Van Gogh

Van Gogh experimented with art, and his portraiture skills flourished with every passing artwork. His materials and methods are still a subject of interest for budding artists. Back in time, when oil colors were on the onset of creating momentum, Van Gogh had already mastered them.

He was a person who loved illustrative pigments in his depictions to create realistic effects. The era of van Gogh was not that substantial to have machine-made chemicals that would not fade and last longer. He used vivid and bright colors to create a lasting color scheme. Being well aware of the pigment vulnerabilities, he applied more concentrated oil paints with dense brushstrokes to his creativity. 

Van Gogh’s Artistic Technique – Step Wise 

In a letter to Theo, van Gogh describes the beautiful Field with Irises near Arles originally painted in the shades of purple. But if this painting is looked at closely today, the color appears blue. So, to dive more into the insights of Vincent Van Gogh painting style, let us try to understand his approach and learn about paintings of van Gogh

To begin with, Van Gogh describes to Theo his pattern in paintings. He mentions that the first step before starting the painting is choosing a panel. The panel supports the entire painting and is made with materials like cardboard, hardboard, or anything solid with a tiff background. He preferred them to be stretched with weaves for better grip for canvas. 

Underpainting is a technique that became synonymous with modern art inspired by Van Gogh. It was a base between the layers of paint and canvas that he prepared himself for the painting. Apart from it, Vincent purchased germanium lake in bulk. 

It is a synthetic organic red-colored pigment that imparts a bold red finish touch. However, lake pigments were not a commodity and have been in the market since time immemorial. However, Van Gogh started this trend to utilize them in his reproduction. They are made by prematurely combining the binders, organic dyes, and metallic salt.

The Philosophy of Color Schemes and Its Application 

Van Gogh somehow faced troubles with color fading and its binding properties. He then started the trail of finding organic dyes and pigment colors for his portraiture. Switching from his old paints to the new inorganic dyes, he encountered stability issues. 

For Example, in his popular artwork Sunflower, he used chrome yellow as the primary pigment. Later, he realized that it contained sulfate groups responsible for the color fading under light and even changing its color to brownish-green under high light densities. 

To overcome such bizarre consequences, he opted for improvised and intense colors. He used them with thick volume and definite brushstrokes to counteract the color fading problems. 

The Color Technique With Vincent Lived By- Impasto 

Impasto is an Italian term that means thick in consistency or paste-like. It was Vincent’s favorite art technique. It involves painting with thick consistency using a palette knife, brush, or spatula that embodies the paint with dense effects on the canvas. This, in turn, imparts visual effects that profoundly amplify the gameplay of light and shadows. 

The brushwork used through Impasto is illustrative, and the brush style may be round, cross-hatched, or straight, depending on the requirements. Van Gogh, in most cases, used it to create illusionary effects by creating ripple movements in the entire canvas, just as in the Starry Nights. 

Starry Nights are the classic paradigm of the Impasto technique and justify his expertise in it. It is believed that sometimes Vincent did not even use brushes to fill colors. Instead, he used his fingers directly to paint. To achieve prolonged shine and consistency for his art, the artist did not step back from using thickening agents. This possibly enhanced the overall outlook with incredible textures. 

3D Effects and Optical Illusion 

Vincent Van Gogh was an artist from the Impressionist period, where this technique was broadly practiced to achieve 3D effects, optical illusions, and delicate textures. This made it possible to capture mirror-like images, paint atmospheric phenomena and emphasize detailing. 

Besides Gogh, other renowned artists like Claude Monet, Rembrandt, and Velasquez used this method for creating lasting artistic effects.    

Impressionists used acrylics and primer bases to create contracting effects. If the pigmented ingredients are too greasy, the textures will be challenging to apply. Round brushes with small heads made with horsehair are ideal for this technique. Sawdust, sand, or incredible grit to the pigment was often added to pull off realistically living textures that created 3D effects. 

The Bottom Line

Van Gogh further experimented with Impasto and skilled more into it. With fine textures, he added emotions and elements that complimented his portraiture. The viewers feel captivated by his impactful techniques of color paints and brushwork. 

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