Summer School / / Van Gogh: Drawing and the Everyday

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

Van Gogh

Visiting Tate Britain’s exhibition, Van Gogh and Britain, we will see how Van Gogh was influenced by the Dickensian London that he encountered; inspired by Eliot’s prose and Whistler’s paintings, he turned his focus to portrayals of the everyday and local workers. We will draw from the works on display, engaging with the detailed yet hallucinatory aesthetic of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, looking closely at his chosen subject matter, dream-like compositions and his distinctive and emotive mark-making. Once back in the studio we will work from the model, first from the head, looking at how Van Gogh's total freedom from rules and convention gave his portraits a directness and meaning. During the sessions, tutors will read from Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, which reveal much about his artistic development, his dreams, ideas, fears and influences. We will later work from the figure in space, using a variety of materials and mark-making techniques to build works that are strong throughout the composition, focusing as much on the background as the model – characteristic of Van Gogh’s post-Impressionistic style. Suitable for all levels, including beginners.