Artist Inspired Mini Canvas: Seurat and Van Gogh

Hello hello! Hopefully it’s a little warmer where you’re at today. It got cold again in Iowa, and after being warm for a few days, the low temperatures feel 100% colder. We’ve also been getting some rain, so I haven’t gotten the chance to get back to running. It’s OK though, because I’ve been nursing my foot, so hopefully the rest will be good and I’ll be able to get  out there again tomorrow. I might be thinking of starting to train for a half, or just continuing from my 10K training. In the meantime, I’ll just keep hanging out with this goober. Look at that concentration!

Boone attention

Remember when Ryan and I redid our kitchen floors? We still love them!

Artist Inspired Mini Canvas

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always admired how a lot of painters developed a very specific style in their work. Hand in hand with that, is me always wanting to mimic what others have mastered. Which is just what I did with my next project. Finding inspiration from some of the greats, I made four mini canvas paintings for our three seasons. I was actually able to paint the all in one day. My setup included my laptop and some movies. Today, I’m going to show you how I did two of them. Remind me to clean my computer screen…

Painting SetUp

I started with four 4×5 mini canvases.

Mini Canvas

The theme of the paintings was the sea and the lake, so I used hues of blue, violet, green, black, white and yellow.

Color Palette

My first inspiration came from Georges Seurat who is know for pointillism. (image source)


First up, I made a sketch of the design. This one would be a bobber.

Seurat Bobber sketch

Then, I lightly transferred it to the canvas to guide my painting and with a very fine paintbrush, started filling in the spaces with dots.

Seurat Bobber white dots 

Once done with the white, I moved on to the next color.

Seurat Bobber purple

Once the bobber was done, I moved to the water. To give it a dynamic effect, concentrate the dots in bands and by color.

Seurat Bobber water start

I used different shades of the same blue and silver for the first part and greens and whites for the second.

Seurat Bobber water colors

The sky got the same effect but with brighter blues,

Seurat Bobber sky base

With this technique, you want to make sure to fill as many spaces as possible and not be afraid to mix color that might not seem to go together.

Seurat Bobber blue sky

Here’s the final product.

Seurat Bobber 

My second inspiration came from Van Gogh and his swirly strokes in Starry Night. (image source)

Van Gogh

This time, the drawing would be a jellyfish. The faint grid on the sketch serves as a guide to transfer the image to the canvas.

Van Gogh Jellyfish sketch

Remember the sketch on the canvas is just for guidelines, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Van Gogh Jellyfish draft

Start with one color for the background and make short rounded strokes.

Van Gogh Jellyfish blue strokes 

About three layers of different blues, whites and greens should be perfect to finish the water.

Van Gogh Jellyfish blues 

The same technique was used for the jellyfish with purples and pinks.

Van Gogh Jellyfish reds 

I finished with a few touches of yellow and white for interest.

Van Gogh Jellyfish         

The beauty of these is that the size isn’t intimidating and it’s a fun way to experiment with new painting techniques that might not come naturally to you.

Whatever you do today, find the beauty in it!

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