Today we are going to borrow from Vincent Van Gogh. Mostly Van Gogh used oil paints but if you look closely you’ll see very animated, small marks that we, too, can try with our water media (acrylics, watercolors, gouache, your choice).

The trick today is to use mostly small brushes, the opposite from the way I usually teach! Also, hold your brush at the end of the handle, not like a pen. It allows your marks to be much looser and free. You’ll see with these paintings from my classes how small marks make this impressionistic style almost shimmer with color.

Below is a Van Gogh painting for you to use as reference. I urge you to set a timer and take no more than 20 minutes! You’ll see why once you’ve done it. 20 minutes is a LONG time for this style painting, trust me. Ready….set….PAINT!

The Plain at Auvers 1890, VanGogh

Bonus! Challenge #2: try this style with one of your own photo references but remember 1) use small brushes, 2) hold them at the end of the handle and 3) set a 20 minute timer.

Coming up: Soon you’ll need brightly colored magazine, mailer, calendar or printed material to cut up. I wanted to give you time to find something in print that has colors you love.