Compare and contrast two portrait

In today lesson , we would like to developing on the difference between the 2 portrait.

Portrait of Joseph Roulin, Vincent Van Gogh,1889

This painting has depicted the closed friend of Van Gogh,  Joseph Roulin. when Van Gogh have moved to Arles in 1888, he has kept a good relationship with Roulin family . They have become subject in Van Gogh painting.”(

In this painting ,It is a topical van Gogh style which is using imaginary colour with the short line and pattern.  Van Gogh have used the cool colour in the whole painting. I think this have made the painting become unify and brought a calm feeling to the audience. Meanwhile he has used the mixture of green and grey colour to be the base of the skin which is intelligent as this have made the red blush pop out and the brown based beard become attractive.

Also I really like how did Van Gogh put the colour and create texture. Van Gogh was using the line to create the villi capillary skin texture and use thicker line on bread which is a bit symbolical but strongly show its texture and the difference of value too. Additionally he kept using this short line pattern on cloth and hat too which had successfully created a strong texture feeling and unified the whole painting.

“Concerning to the background, Van Gogh have used the imaginative backdrop of swirling flower and the repeating background which Van Gogh call the modern portrait”( In my perspectival, it has make this painting be more decorative and have a strong pattern effect. As Van Gogh not only use the swirling flowers but also the repeating circle pattern which made this painting look like the print on the fabric. Also it has rejected the depth in the painting and made the painting become flat .These is very different to the traditional painting as it is more decorative. And I really love this fresh feeling.

Portrait of a man with Cat Ears, Richard Aldrich,2014

This a painting form Richard Aldrich which look abrstract. As we can see it is very different to Van Gogh’s work. This is a totally abstract painting as other than the title we cannot even see a face or the cat .Aldrich have created  a rough and wide brushstroke which is less control which a very watery pigment and created the dropping effect. Also this paint have a good layering effect as Aldrich didn’t mix the colour, they were most in the colour block therefore it has clearly show the layer.

Other than this, I really love Aldrich’s colour used. He had used pantone and grey colour in this drawing which is perfectly combine together. the colour have made te painting become very comfortable and unify. Also I think artist have greatly to colour to express value and feeling as artist have mostly use the primary colour which will be more attractive.  In addition, Artist  created different energy in this painting like the sunny feeling of yellow and the sad feeling from grey color which has create contrast.

By comparing two painting, I think both of them were really difference.Both of them are not real reality but Van Gogh’s one have a clear from, Aldrich’s one is totally abstract. I  think both of them have a great colour use as they were using imaginary colour. Both of them have created an amazing texture one is more water , one is more pattern. However I think I love Van Gogh’s painting more as I think it will be better show a face in a portrait painting.


The Museum of Modern Art. (2016). Richard Aldrich. Portrait of a Man with Cat Ears. 2014 | MoMA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

The Museum of Modern Art. (2016). Vincent van Gogh. Portrait of Joseph Roulin. Arles, early 1889 | MoMA. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].



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