Van Gogh Sunset

There are so many fascinating Van Gogh paintings. I asked my sister to look through the paintings and choose one for the next project. I thought if someone else picked, it might be more of a challenge. Actually, I think this will be easy. If you would like to pick our next painting, drop me a line. Here’s what she picked.     At first I thought this wouldn’t be a very good painting to go with since it’s very monochromatic. But after looking a little closer I saw some beautiful detail in the foreground that I think will be fun to paint. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here Van Gogh makes use of the diagonal again. Can you see, starting at the top of the canvas, you could draw a “Z” starting left and working to the right and continuing all the way down the composition. Because the colors here are plain and simple, the success of the painting will rely more on the excitement of the composition.

As I said, this is a very monochromatic painting at sunset. I would imagine that it’s late summer, since the field is ready to harvest. It must be hot. It’s mid-June where I am. The sunsets are more along the line of bluish pink. So I will make use of all my orange, red and compliments to get that late summer steaminess.

I’m going to put some very subtle compliments in the foreground of my picture. I’m going to keep it very subtle so as to be only slightly noticeable. I’m giving myself permission here to create some excitement in my version. You can do this or not depending on how you feel.

So that’s it. Diagonal composition in the form of a “Z”, monochromatic color, and the use of some compliments. I don’t know of any wheat fields that are ready to harvest near where I live so I’m heading to the airport at sundown today. I think it will make a good painting with a sort of modern feel. It’s very wide open and the sunset will be good there. I also have in mind a duck pond. There’s some beautiful lily pads and there’s a stand of trees on the horizon. Not sure how I’ll get a person into the composition. I may have to hire someone…hmmm.


2 thoughts on “Van Gogh Sunset

  1. I’m trying to understand your explanation of the “Z” composition. Are you starting at the left, moving right to the sun, back left to the building and then right again to the figure?

    • Yep. Imagine drawing a big Z on top of the painting. Then notice where the major elements of the composition are. Everything falls loosely along the lines of the letter Z. Thanks for following!

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