Expressive Paintings

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Art & Design - Expressive Essay – Paintings
In this essay I will be looking at three different styles of paintings; two paintings from the famous Vincent Van Gogh and one from the artistic Maurice Vlaminck. I will talk about the seven visual elements – texture, shape, colour, tone, line, pattern and form - and if they are used in each painting. Also I will talk about the brushwork and if they use small brushstrokes or large brushstrokes. These three paintings are all different and show different situations but they are the same as well because they are all pictures of landscapes. I will talk about how much detail is in each painting. ‘The Harvest at La Crau’ is the first painting that I am going to talk about. It is by Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch Post- Impressionist painter. Post – Impressionism is a style that artists would use including using vivid colours, thick use of paint and unique brush strokes. He was born in 1853 and died in 1890. His work was beautiful and emotional with its bold colours and rough textures which no one was impressed by at the time he was alive. However, many people today still love Van Gogh’s work of art and would pay millions for his work. He didn’t fit into any painting school because of his unique colour sense. In his life he produced 860 oil paintings. When Van Gogh was a child he loved to draw and until the day he died, his love for art got stronger and stronger. Unfortunately he had a problem; he had depression because no one appreciated his work and he gave up his life and committed suicide in 1890. “Harvest at La Crau” was painted in 1888 and the size is 72 x 92 cm. The painting shows a farm life in the French countryside during the harvest season. The painting is divided into three, the foreground, the fields and the workers in the middle ground and the mountains and skies in the background. The foreground shows a fence and the start of the wheat field. The pattern of the fence is effective because of the mixture of colours used. You can see hot reds against cold blues. A hint of white against browns with a line of black to make it more realistic. This part of the painting is textured with thick paint showing the texture of the long dry grass and corn stubble. The middle part shows the rest of the wheat field and the workers. The wheat fields filled Van Gogh’s mind in the autumn, and reminded him about his spring visit to Saintes- Maries–de–la- Mer. Even though the workers were poor, they appear happy and also show what is happening in everyday life for the peasants, who are farming. To the left of the painting there is a large haystack, with ladders and a man working hard with a pitchfork. Van Gogh also uses a lot of black to outline the trees and the buildings which make them appear more 3D. The fruit trees look healthy and good. There is a cart next to the haystack and you can see how Van Gogh thought of tone through this cart because you can see light reflecting off the wheel. A plough follows beside the cart. The hot red / orange colour contrasts well because it stands out from the background. These signify the stages of harvest. Van Gogh shows the meaning of farm work and the life of a peasant. The tones of yellow contrasts with the violet cold colours of the Alpilles Mountains and the green, unusual sky. I think that this painting is quite impressionist in style. It captures the warm, end of summer light on the landscape and Van Gogh probably sat outside with his easel painting what he saw in front of him. The background is the sky and the mountains. I have noticed that the back ground is smoother than the rough brush strokes in the rest of painting. The brushstrokes used for the background are small and I think this adds effect to the sky by making it more interesting, and it appears further away. Van Gogh highlighted the mountains with black lines, which is surprising because it makes the mountains look closer, and I would have expected him to...
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