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Van Gogh's Style

Updated: Jul 1

I sometimes answer Questions on Quora. If they're interesting I'll bring them over to my Blog.


Q:Why did Vincent van Gogh's artistic style undergo significant changes throughout his career?

A: Vincent Van Gogh is my all time favorite artist. And since I’m an artist I have read a lot about him. I also had the privilege of seeing the Vincent Van Gogh show this past fall that is touring and I believe is housed in New Orleans.

Van Gogh started out as a missionary. He wasn’t well liked and he felt like a failure.

He took up painting in his late 20s and began teaching himself to paint. Those early paintings were drab, sad and depressing. One of them is called “the potato eaters” and shows some peasants all in muted browns eating potatoes because that’s all they had.

One of Vincent Van Gogh's Early Pieces, this painting is cartoonish, Drab and even some owuld say ugly.
The Potato Eaters

But then something amazing happened.

Van Gogh went to Paris. And when he went to Paris, he saw the impressionists and what they were doing there. He immediately began using vibrant colors and his paintings completely changed.

Note the difference between these paintings and his early "potato eaters" what happened to cause this change? He went to Paris and met the impressionists.
a compilation of a few of Van Gogh's famous paintings

As I was studying Van Gogh for a class I teach to high school students,

I realized that Van Gogh was an expert in color theory. An absolute expert.

His combinations of color are what makes his paintings so beautiful and vibrant.

Only Van Gogh could pull off yellow on yellow.

Van Gogh was also undoubtedly influenced by his friendship with Gauguin, whom he lived with for a while, but I can’t see the influence there anywhere near as much as that first influence of the Paris avant-garde art scene.

That's my take on it anyway. Thoughts?


My name is Kathy Buskett. I'm a working artist - a caricaturist, which makes me a Unicorn. (there are fewer caricaturists than brain surgeons!) Van Gogh is my Favorite Artist.

I travel all over drawing caricatures for events. I have 25 years of experience, 10 of them drawing caricatures in Las Vegas, and I have had clients such as Samsung, Top Golf, Coca Cola, Cirque du Soleil and more. I currently live on the Gulf Coast in Fairhope, AL near the Grand Hotel, and I draw at conventions, weddings and trade shows all over. As one of the fastest caricaturists in the world, I can draw 30+ faces per hour.

You can see some of my work at

And you can reach me at

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