What I learned from replicating ‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh

Origianl van gogh
Starry night c.1889  by Vincent Van Gogh (image available: https://bit.ly/2H2bGg6)


Firstly, I realized that this painting is comprised of a lot more shades of blue than you’d think! When you take a closer look at the detail of the painting you’ll notice there are layers and layers of colour. The sky for example is not just one tone of blue, it includes hints of white, black and dark, light shades of blue. The swirling clouds are the same, there are reflections of yellow and hints of blue and black. This painting is primarily made up of black, blue, browns, white and yellow. The colours were built up, shade by shade and brush stroke by brush stroke. The shadowy scene below is made up of black shades and the lighter colours can be seen in the sky, the strong strong contrasts make the painting more dramatic.

Capturing Movement

This was the best thing about replicating this painting! The playfulness of the brush strokes especially with the sky. You can tell that Van Gogh was a great admirer of the sky from his joyful brush strokes. The impression of the scene is suggested through the movement of the brush strokes m which is done through small quick movements with the brush. A few strokes of white here, another of black, blue there, having fun with the brush and gently building the movement bit by bit.

Creating atmosphere

The atmosphere or feeling you get when you look at the painting is suggested by Van Gogh through the colours he uses, the composition, and the movement of the brush strokes. The movement of the clouds is very energetic and playful. The swirling white lines dance along the sky above the night scene below. The reflection of the stars is also seen among these clouds. The bright moon and stars are the brightest aspect of the painting, the composition of these elements brings the viewers eye along the sky.

‘Starry Night’ c. 2018  by Ruth O’Hagan (image via: https://www.facebook.com/ruthohaganartist/)

Thank you for reading! You see more of my artwork on my Facebook. I’ll be doing a series of artworks by great painters in Art History in order to learn more about painting.



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