Van Gogh figure…

figure of van gogh

In this one I’ve altered his left leg, try to show it buckling up beneath him. His right arm has already fallen and a paint brush is dropped… his left arm is up for delayed action protection.. maybe he has dropped the palette he was holding. Light is high casting some shadow which helps!

Media: large sheet of watercolour paper with white acrylic primer sloshed onto it and some black Dulux weathershield too plus charcoal and pastels. Leave it to dry. And study it for a while.


  1. I’ve left several comments. Reading your words helps and also this earlier sketch shows him buckling, not limping forwards as in the later sketches.

    Maybe a lower calibre bullet, low impact force, bullet hits liver and inferior vena cava or portal vein (low pressure vessels) so he is not thrown back but rather is slowly collapsing from blood loss.

    1. Thanks for the interest KA… I think the bullet didn’t damage any important organs and ended up lodged near the spine… maybe the body ought to be exhumed and an autopsy done … Are you a doctor BTW? He managed to stagger away from the scene back to his hotel room upstairs. The episode is shrouded in mystery and has little option other than to employ artistic licence (as defined in Wikipedia : “Another example of artistic license is the way in which stylized images of an object (for instance in a painting or an animated movie) are different from their real life counterparts, but are still intended to be interpreted by the viewer as representing the same thing. This can mean the omission of details, or the simplification of shapes and color shades, even to the point that the image is nothing more than a pictogram. It can also mean the addition of non-existing details, or exaggeration of shapes and colours, as in fantasy art or a caricature.”

      1. I agree, I’m thinking too literally. This is about artistic composition not forensic science. I need to go play guitar and not think about this. Still, I started to research this myself and found this
        I’m wrong, or that documentary was wrong. Newton’s laws would mean if VvG was thrown back by the impact, so too would the shooter have been. This would not happen from a little gun. Sometimes people fall when shot, either to take cover or from a physiological response. Sometimes though they just carry on moving as they were. It takes several shots to stop someone not hit vitally and who does not know to drop.
        I wonder if he died of gangrene then? A silly gun. A chance shot. Barely shock of impact. A dawning realisation of injury.
        I work in Britain’s leading military hospital and, time was, we had copters coming in daily. The theme of MASH played in my mind seeing them just overhead. I still see young men, recovering from life changing injury, buying papers in Smiths. But I’m an oncologist not a surgeon and I’m thankful I don’t know the real impact of being shot.

      2. Well, what you write is very interesting and I am deeply thankful for your words, your thoughts… it makes all the difference! I’m not very good when it comes to going through lists of friends and liking this that and the other… in fact I wish all these Internet social media people would get rid of that function and just talk to each other, comment, constructively criticise, etc., so I offer you my apologies if I’m somewhat slow to investigate the work of my peers and dish out “likes” ! I’ve been researching all sorts of things for this painting, I don’t know what, I just don’t want the images to be completely divorced from reality… Even a great old master like Rubens can get the legs wrong / out of proportion etc so I’m not really too worried but worried enough – if that makes sense. As soon as you said MASH the theme tune came into my head! And when you mentioned helicopters I thought of Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down”… Me too. Yes, food for thought.

  2. Thanks for posting so many versions and allowing us (me?) the privilege of commenting on your artistic process. I look forward to where you take this.

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