I’m not sure I really like this – it’s pretty harsh looking – but here’s my first attempt at a self-portrait in the style of Vincent van Gogh.

I got the idea watching a series of wonderful videos called the Forger’s Masterclasses – where an ex-forger was showing 3 students in each video how to paint in the style of a well-known artist. I decided I’d play, and paint in the styles, too, right alongside them.

The more I look at this one I did, the more things I want to correct, but I guess I have to call it finished at some point. If you decide to critique please be kind – I’m just learning how to paint portraits!

UPDATE: For those on my facebook group who commented that Vincent’s paintings were mostly intensely color-saturated: I used muted colors purposely because I didn’t want color to distract from style.

This was practice. I used one of his more muted self-portraits as a model (see below).

I was trying to find out what it takes to make all those brush strokes he made. Turns out it’s really, really hard. Each one he makes is deliberate, not just a fun little swirl or stroke.

I discovered I am a slap-dash painter, and make more un-deliberate strokes than I need, which turns colors into mud and strokes into confusion. This was a really great exercise.

Painting in Vincent’s style is a real bear – it looks easy – just do curlies, right? So wrong. Try it before you open your gob and say mean things!!!

original – acrylics on canvas – 20″ x 16


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