The Starry Night
by Vincent Van Gogh
In this painting, Van Gogh used several elements and principles of art. Color is used boldly - dark blue and black creates contrast against the bright golds and yellow tones. The swirling spirals and dashed circle shapes create visual movement, which guides the eyes of the viewer from left to right across the painting. Using thick brush strokes of paint, Van Gogh was able to create both actual texture and simulated texture on the canvas.
In his self portrait, Van Gogh also used a similar thick painting style to build up the background. The wavy background pattern creates texture, but also appears to be moving downward through the painting.