Monday, May 12, 2014

#15: Goghing

My son picked up a copy of Van Gogh's "The Old Mill". I stuck it in a frame and propped it on the mantle of our fireplace. Then... the snow came. I wanted to paint. The painting I really wanted to try requires raw umber, which I don't have. So.... what to do? Maybe I should try my hand at replicating Van Gogh's work.

Van Gogh's "The Old Mill"

My version of the mill:
9" X 12" canvas board

What I like about the painting:

  • I was pleased with the impressionistic look of my buildings, and I was very pleased with the colors of the green land space beyond the mill.
  • I fell that I have been able to show some dimension of the hillside going up to the mill.
What I might do differently:
  • I didn't have the right yellow to match what Van Gogh used. 
  • When I painted the bank by the river, I saw the trees, not the forest, so to speak. It wasn't until I put the pictures up here that I saw that the brown area of the bank was intended to show the shadow of the drop off into the water. 
What I learned:
The transparency of some colors was very evident in creating this picture. In some instances, I am thinking, I could use that to help me. I kept trying to replicate Van Gogh's yellow by mixing the two that I had on hand, light cadmium and yellow ochre. In hindsight, it might have been interesting to try layering the light cadmium on the yellow ochre to see if the transparency would counter the lemony color of the cadmium with the ochre showing through. I enjoyed using the rough brush strokes instead of the detail I have tried to use in the past. I need to be more precise in sketching out images when I am copying them in the future. There are some problems with the perspective I used, as well as the placement and size of other portions of the painting.

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