Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunflowers Not by Van Gogh

Some years back my husband bought a coffee table book on Van Gogh. We enjoyed looking at this genius' master works from the book. When I recently saw the coloring book released by Harper Design in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam my husband decided I should get one as well for my collection of coloring books. Leafing through the elaborate pages I was intimidated at first, and only thought of using oil pastel for coloring it so that I won't have to get nitty gritty about the details.

The illustrations, which must've been digitally made, were very faithful to the original. I thought when I got started with the sunflower (fourteen) I didn't have to labor too much in choosing colors, I would just mimic the original work. The rest wasn't easy. I had to match the colors to the exact right spot. I was doing color-by-the-number without the numbers! It was as if I was completing a Van Gogh puzzle, coloring the page was that challenging as it turned out.
Side by side, the coffee table book and the coloring book. The portrait to the left though is with a straw hat, while the one on the coloring book's cover is with a felt hat.

The image at the left is the original, the right is my work-in-progress (WIP). The Vincent signature on the pot was placed below the line in the coloring book image which made me wonder if I was referring to the correct painting. Apparently there are many similar sunflower paintings like this done by Van Gogh, some 12 sunflowers, and some 14.
At the end of the day I was able to finish this piece with much help from a fixative spray since I had to keep the dry soft pastel background in place (and not on the bottom of my palm) to complete the work.
I kept to Van Gogh book nearby since I had to keep glancing at it as I worked on the piece which I propped up on my table top easel.

Those clamps came in handy since I used my daughter's canvas board to keep the page upright.
The final output which I completed in a day. I thought it was best appreciated from afar so I took a long shot of it. But the truth is I just wasn't keen on seeing the fine mistakes in coloring I've made, in Filipino we call it "lampas lampas".

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