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I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.  - Vincent van Gogh

I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.  - Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh was a self taught artists.  He often used bold colors and thick strokes of paint.  Many of his works look like impasto painted sculptures on canvas. 

When painting your own portrait in a similar style you can decide how thick you want your paint to be and how bold you want your colors to be.  If I did this portrait again I would go thicker on the paint and bolder on the colors and maybe a few swirls in the background. 

When I was in high school Vincent Van Gogh was my favorite artist. I didn't really think about why, but as I look at his work now I can completely understand how I was so smitten.  His sensitivity to color and brush strokes, the way he captivates the viewer with the gentle, yet accosting gazes of his portraits. I look at his work and think "I want to try and paint like that, too."  So, I tried to paint like Van Gogh, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the process, I didn't quite achieve the same VanGoghesque look I dream about.  Perhaps you will though. 

For this exercise you will need a self-portrait + a Van Gogh reference image or two + paint + brushes +  paper.


Your self-portrait can be one that you take just for this exercise or one from years ago, or perhaps you want to use an image of someone in your family or of a friend?  

Check out all the beautiful Van Gogh portraits on Pinterest.