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Virtual Paintout - Arles - November 2011 (first stages)

This month's Virtual Paintout takes us to Arles - Van Gogh country!
I combined my Google Street View travels with a review of VG's paintings, thinking I might be inspired to paint the same scene he had painted or work in his style.

At first I sketched a road in Arles (below) and added a figure I'd seen in Van Gogh's "The Painter on His Way to Work". Link to Van Gogh Gallery

But I wasn't too happy with this scene so I headed out of town instead. Van Gogh's landscapes usually feature fields of golden wheat or corn, workers busy plowing, planting or seeding, etc., but these just didn’t match the barren fields of late autumn I was running across in Street View.
Finally I found a green vineyard with some low mountains in the distance that brought to mind the "Alpilles" which were the backdrop to some of Van Gogh's landscapes during his time in Arles.
Here's the Street View Link.
I decided to base my colour scheme the Van Gogh painting "Cypresses" (shown here):

Well, I'm not sure I succeeded in doing that but at least it was good discipline to narrow down my choice of colours.
Here are the preliminary steps:

I liked the sketch -- sort of looked a little like a Van Gogh to me.

This was a lot of fun but easy to make a mess in the end so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

24x30cm, oil on canvas
(private collection, Brussels)


  1. A very fun (and with a lot of skill) way to use Virtual Paintout challenge! Thanks for the steps sharing.

  2. Very good Catherine, you certainly have captured the Van Gogh style.