Project Photo Gallery: Shoreline in the Style of Van Gogh

Looking at the drawings and painting and reading the comments, it’s clear a great deal of creative fun and energy was found channelling our inner Van Gogh! (You’ll find the project instructions here and the list of all the projects here.) Also that using the drawing to guide your mark making in the painting can work well, like a roadmap for brushstrokes. Thank you to everyone who’s shared their pieces. Enjoy!

By Caryl D: “The first ink drawing was done with a dip pen and ink. Then I added chalk, gouache and watercolor to the drawing surprising myself when the ink let loose, thinking somehow I was using permanent ink. I had seen a drawing of Van Gogh’s where he used those mediums over his ink sketch.”
By Caryl D
By Caryl D: “Acrylic on canvas board. The paint is a little thin and I don’t like my composition especially how it goes off the left corner in such a straight line. But I like the textural effect. Great exercise and I enjoyed the challenge.”

From Marion: It’d involve a lot of repainting to fix the composition heading into the corner, but you could cut the canvas board before framing to fix it, or possibly peel off the canvas and restick it once the board’s cut. I particularly like the sense of texture on the “hairy rocks”.

By Cathi: Pencil study on A4 mixed media paper
By Cathi: Acrylic on A3. I have had fun trying to simplify impressionistic colours.

From Marion: The blue and yellows feels very Van Gogh to me, not to mention your brushwork in the sky that echoes his famous Starry Night. The swirls in the foreground echo the sky, creating a unity across the composition. I think you should channel your inner Van Gogh more often, especially when you’re thinking you’re working too tightly.

By Gail: “I did this sketch with the idea that I would work from it alone to create the painting since Van Gogh would probably have worked the same way if he could not go back to the beach to complete the work but would have to rely on memory and notes.”
By Gail: “The finished painting doesn’t much resemble the photo but is done from my memory of the photo. It is done in acrylic since I don’t generally work in oil. I laid the paint on thickly as Van Gogh might have done and used black outline in areas. I used directional strokes on the sea weed on the rocks and in the ocean and added the clouds to give the painting a sense of distance as many of Van Gogh’s landscape paintings have a “sky” in them. I really enjoyed this work and it made me appreciate how quickly Van Gogh worked as I did this painting as quickly as I could and had it done within about three hours all together with interruptions and so forth.”

From Marion: I think the drawing serves as a roadmap for a painting, the first stage in translating a scene into paint, getting what’s interesting about a subject. I think it makes painting for more fun too, because we’re not being restrained by consulting the reference photo. That said, I think your painting feels true to the location.

By Karen
By Karen: “I couldn’t find anywhere to slot in a cheeky crow or two but I really enjoyed this project. Nothing like I would normally do but I loved the freedom to throw a bit of paint around! I found the rocky beach difficult but I found a use for the lava paste and liked how it ran when I sprayed water on it.”

From Marion: Delighted you enjoyed yourself! I think working in thicker paint is fun, the way it moves under the brush, the creation of strong brushmarks. You’ve retained a freshness to your colours, rather than moving it all around so much you end up with murky mixtures, which is one of the dangers. There’s a distinctness to the various elements in the composition, which is what I was hoping this project would generate.

By Eddie, ink: “I like to paint in gouache, pastel and oils. I have tended to paint in one medium for several weeks or months then change. I have found that doing this requires a learning curve with each change. From the new year I have done things differently by painting the same picture in each of the media on consecutive days. So far it’s going well and this is what I have done with February’s challenge. The oil might have been easier if I painted in layers but I am also trying to increase what I can do alla prima.”

From Marion: Don’t forget to count ink amongst the mediums you used for February’s project! I have really enjoyed looking at the versions in the different mediums, how each has its own characteristics and types of marks. I’d be hard pushed to pick as favourite as each has something I particularly like.
By Eddie,gouache
By Eddie, pastel
By Eddie, oils

By Sarah: “Interesting morning. I started with the Ink drawing, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then added the acrylic Ink , not so great . So ended up cutting it apart and put it back together again. Still happier with the Ink drawing.”

From Marion: I think that, much as we’d like to be always on a forwards growth with our art, it’s more circular, that we regularly go backwards and around, gradually going forward. Some pieces won’t work to our satisfaction, but once we let go of the fristration at this (easier said than done), we do learn from it. In this case, how much you enjoy a drawing with just ink.
By Sarah

By Bee: Ink on paper

From Marion: I think I’d crop in tighter to reduce the amount of negative space, which I feel unbalances the composition, in from the left to where the rocks start, and in from the top to beneath the ink lines in the sea. Try it with a piece of card first, before you cut it.

By Julie: “I was deliberately tight in this drawing as I plan to try to use it as a basis of a print. It is controlled and each mark consciously made, and with an attempt to use different marks to represent various textures and shapes. I used a pen with a nib, dipping it into undiluted and diluted sepia ink. I tried to vary the shapes of the marks by varying the pressure and angle on the nib.”
By Julie, dry-point print: “I did three prints of the Van Gogh-style shoreline drawing I completed earlier. I have done very little print making, but It was a fun exercise, and much learned. They are dry point prints made by using a plastic etching plate, so I was able to see my drawing underneath. I would have liked to have controlled the plate tone a little better, as well as making more marks to create darker areas.”

From Marion: I think there’s a greater fluidity in the lines in your print than your drawing, a freedom that’s come from having already decided what’s important in the reference photo and where what kind of mark is to go. Printmaking has a magic all of its own, not least that moment you lift up the sheet of paper to see the result!
By Julie, dry-point print
By Julie, dry-point print

And because it’s never too late to submit photos for any of the projects, here’s one for January 2021 Eggshells project.

By Barbara H: As a novice, I tried to keep it simple. I used watercolors, charcoal, and a dab of acrylic. I enjoyed the process of studying the cracked shells and getting them on paper.  I call this “Eggshell road”.

From Marion: I did several versions, both ink drawings and paintings, some more successful than others. I’m not sharing the total dud, though I haven’t ripped it up just yet.

Black ink. I like this drawing most because I’ve got varied mark making but also lighter and darker marks created by changing the angle of the pen.
Marion Boddy-Evans, mixed media on A3 watercolour paper. This was the loosest of my paintings. I like it because it’s verging towards abstract, leaving a lot to your imagination to fill in.
Marion Boddy-Evans Oil paint over Payne’s grey acrylic ink on wood panel (A1 size, or 594x841mm). These two were the last ones I did, developed out of all the previous attempts, and I am very pleased with them. I like the combination of line and colour, and that I managed to retain the colour and grain in the wood in areas. Also that I did decide to not include a horizon line (to eliminate the sky), so it’s a composition about what I see when I’m looking down.

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