The Painter On His Way to Paint

For this piece, I copied this Van Gogh painting for the most part. However, I decided that I would add in Van Gogh himself, on his way to paint the piece.

To properly represent both Van Gogh’s painting and likeness, I wanted to do a copy not only in subject matter but in art style and technique. As such, I painted this in oils using a palette knife (like the one on the right in this pic). In total, I only used two tools for this: a palette knife, and the small paintbrush I used to sign it.

I worked back-to-front: I painted the sky first, followed by the distant landscape, then worked forward until I finished with Van Gogh himself. Since things in the back are overlapped by things in the front, I painted the things in the back first and painted the closer things over top of them.

Painting Van Gogh in there was hard, but not for the reasons you might think. I’m very solid at figure drawing, so drawing a human was pretty easy. The problem arose from trying to paint Van Gogh in his own style, when he wasn’t a central part of the piece. He did self-portraits (actually he did tons), but he painted himself as the center of those pieces. Here, I was trying to paint him small, as almost an afterthought.

As such, I tried to copy Van Gogh’s style of drawing figures, with not a lot of success. At first I did him in the style of his self-portraits, but it was too detailed and realistic. I was very happy with this first version artistically, but it didn’t fit so I scrubbed it out. I tried to get some vibrant highlights and shadows in the second version, but that still didn’t quite fit stylistically. Finally, I just blocked in some color and gave it an immensely simple white outline where the light was coming from. That seemed to do it, so that’s the finished version.


This painting is for sale! Get it now for $250 plus shipping. If you’re interested, contact me!

View From the Bicycle Café

Bicycle Café, North Park, PA

For my painting class, I had to go around town and do five “thumbnail sketches” of landscapes. Only one of those sketches would be used to do a landscape painting, which was the next assignment.

This came out of one of the sketches my professor rejected. Personally, I liked this one better than the one my prof picked.

11pm, First St.

A selection from a recent painting of mine. WordPress wouldn’t let me upload the full photo so I had to crop it 🙁

I met my fiancé at a convention in Baltimore, at one of the last events of the second day. After it was over, we couldn’t find anything else to go to or do, so we walked through the rooftop garden. Eventually we ended up sitting on a concrete bench at the edge of the sidewalk, looking into the cloudy sky. We sat together and talked until it started raining.

This is painted mostly from my memory and partially from the few photos I found of the Baltimore Convention Center rooftop garden (it’s a shame there aren’t more; it’s beautiful). Originally I tried to draw this with markers, but it wasn’t working the way I wanted, so I decided to pull out the oil paints and paint it instead.