Kat: Hey Princess Latte. What are you working on today?
Princess Latte: Hey Kat. Today I’m working on Van Gogh’s Flowering Garden.
Kat: Oh wow, that is so beautiful. But that is a lot of dots.
Princess Latte: You have no idea, it is a maddening amount of dots. However, this is when he really began to come into his own in Arles. He began using the impasto style of painting.
Kat: Impasto, what is that?
Princess Latte: Impasto is when you paint with your brushes with big strokes and thick applications of paint that leave lots of remnants of the brush strokes.
Kat: Okay. So you could say he had a stroke...of genius!
For today’s painting, you’ll need:
Part of the fun of doing Van Gogh’s Flowering Garden is all the different colors we get to use. We’re going to start out with a green for our base. The green here is a bit of a blue-green so I’m going to mix this teal I have with my green and I’m applying it somewhat thinly since I want it to dry quickly. When I paint with the teal and green it gives this piece a sort of watercolor feel because of the gradient. When I mix more paint, it turns out a little darker, but I think it looks good.
Now we have some different plants and we are using a yellow-green instead of a blue green. I have an ochre that I’m using for this and a green. I apply it more thinly and with more space between the dots as I move up.
Then I’m going to add some green to the color we started with and create a thick strip of green with less white showing through than before. Now, we want to add some dark spots. So I’m creating a very dark green by using green and a little bit of dark brown. Using a very thin brush, I’m adding some dark spots to the bottom of this green band here and to the teal-green below. Finally, let’s add a color that isn’t green - yellow! I am using this ochre straight out of the tube and adding dots all across the green areas. We will even add some yellow flowers here above the green on the top right. Let’s mix a red-orange. We will add large flowers of red and orange to all the teal-green sections.I’m also adding a couple spots of this color to the light green in the middle, but those are very small. Now I’d like to add a nice periwinkle color to the garden. Perhaps these are supposed to be irises? To make periwinkle I’m going to add just a touch of red to some of the blue and then white until we get it as light as we’d like it to be. Add clusters of dots in this color. Then, create a darker version of the same blue and add it to the clusters to create some lovely variation.
We should have minimal white peeking out on the bottom half of the painting by this point. However, there are some cute white flowers dotting Van Gogh’s garden.Fortunately, paint isn’t like markers or crayon and we can add our white right on top of the green after it’s been allowed to dry and we can get a very nice, crisp white.
Wow. That was a lot of dots, wasn’t it? It takes time, but it’s looking amazing. Stick with it and this painting will turn out beautiful. Take breaks if you need to.
Let’s start prepping the trees and bushes above the garden. I made a nice branch color with ochre and green. We can use the same color for stems and leaves for these nice flowers. Then, mix a dark green color and apply it liberally in dots all around the branches and the flowers. This is a very organic-looking section.
Use a light yellow-green just below this section, we are almost done with the green for a while.Mix up some yellow to paint some flowers outside of the house in the top-left corner. Then we’ll use our branch color again for this little bush right in front. Like the areas of green we built before, we are now going to build an area of light yellow thinly applied in small dots. Then, I make a nice lavender-periwinkle and fill in a band of flowers right above the green with some dots spread throughout the yellow. And I’m adding an accent of dots below. I’m going to fill in around this otherwise very random-looking branch that’s hanging out right above our yellow patch. We will use a medium-green with some yellows for this section. We continue to the right and connect with the dark trees. Then fill in with a variety of greens and yellow to add interest.
Now we let our canvas dry so we can add on the finer details
I am mixing a very slightly yellowish light blue for the shutters, I wouldn’t want it to turn green by mixing with the yellow beneath. Add a dark blue rectangle in in between - it doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t pull out your ruler - and voila! By adding this little window detail, suddenly our yellow area is starting to look like a house. Then add some windows to the left and use the same blue and add some flower details. From here, I mix a variety of colors to really fill out this garden. This is the perfect place to experiment with this painting if you want to really make it your own.
Now for the easy part - no more dots! Fill in the sky with a solid blue - large strokes are ideal, and with a red-orange roof and some light blue walls, suddenly we have a second house in our painting. I’ll use the same colors on our yellow building on the right - giving it a roof and some light blue detail. Finally some light green leaves for the trellis. Now it really feels like a little house in a beautiful flowering garden.
To finish this painting, we will flesh out the color for all of the areas - I add some purples, dark yellows, whites - and add some clouds to the sky. Now, try your best to avoid having your canvas show through. And there! That was a lot of hard work, but now you have a Van Gogh!
Alrighty, I’m going to put that one there to leave room for more paintings. These colors really bring this wall to life. I’m imagining something really bright for this next video.
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