Tint your canvas
Before starting, Van Gogh tinted his canvas, using an underpainting technique, opting to dip into yellow ochres or blues. You’re not faced with a stark white canvas. Tone your canvas with an overall colour that you see in the work. Vincent – How to do it
Use a limited palette
Because oil paints were expensive in those days, Van Gogh used a limited colour palette and used minimal colours to the best of his ability. Study the main colours.
Although it might seem tricky to start with, resisting the urge to blend and laying the paint on quickly, is one of the key traits of the Van Gogh style.
Use short, strokes with a filbert
Van Gogh mostly used a flat, filbert brush, loading the brush with paint then using short, angular brush strokes. He mixed his paint together on his canvas a bit as strokes are laid next to one another. But don’t overdo this. He did not purposely “blend” his colours into each other very much.
The brush strokes all lead the eye wherever.
Add texture with crosshatching
Van Gogh used a cross hatching style to add texture to his backgrounds. By painting short, quick, vertical, and horizontal lines with different colours. MOVEMENT
Use outlines. Another one of Van Gogh’s tricks of the trade was to use dark outlines.
Post impressionism was a small step away from the next art movement, fauvism (where grass wasn’t green, it was red, and oceans weren’t blue, they could be green). So, we can expect a little bit of exaggeration here.
Use the fat over lean rule and try a palette knife
Don’t forget the “fat over lean” rule when painting with oils, especially if you’re layering and working quickly like Van Gogh. Use your thinnest layer first and then work up to your thickest. Once each layer is dry, you can then add the next layer, adding more oil each time.
Van Gogh used lots of thick impasto brush strokes. Impasto means “risen paint” and here, he used his thick oil paints and loaded it onto a flat brush, mostly working dark to light to block in the colours. You could take this a step further and try using a palette knife to add layers of thick paint.
Your masterpiece: copy as best you can OR interpret as did David Hockney. Vincent – How to do it
Grab a sun hat and get inspired by your surroundings
Vincent – How to do it