Vincent – How did he do it?
First of all, he tinted his canvas thus avoiding the stark white canvas. He usually used fellow ochres or blues.
He used a limited palette with minimal colours.
He resisted the urge to blend his colours on his pallet.
He laid his paint on very thickly in most places, and with quick applications.
Vincent used short flat strokes with a filbert brush and many of his strokes are angular.
Where he wanted such effect, he mixed the paint on his canvas.
Notice that many of his strokes lead the eye and appear to ‘move’.
Texture was achieved using crosshatching. Short, quick, vertical, and horizontal lines with different colours. This again helped to create the illusion of movement.
Vincent employed the technique of outlining many of his subjects in darker colours.
Fat over thin: layering using a thin layer first then adding lots of colours in succession.
The Post Impressionism movement (which Vincent has been labelled as belonging to) led to the art movement called Fauvism – striking colours and not necessarily realistic e.g., red grasses and yellow trees etc.
And that’s basically how Vincent van Gogh achieved the wonderful works that we today admire and identify with so much.