Famous Artists Who Inspire Us: Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Van Gogh

Feb 10, 2023

Home » Blog » Painting Articles » PAINT AND SIP » Famous Artists Who Inspire Us: Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Van Gogh

Art is a form of storytelling. It is something that continues, that is passed on and shared. At Cork & Chroma, part of what we strive to do is carry on this artistic conversation, and make the world of art and creativity feel more accessible to all. We are deeply inspired by the great artists who came before us, and often say it was artists like Bob Ross who paved the way for what we do in our studios today. We pride ourselves on offering a rich and diverse selection of different painting options and styles, some of which pay homage to the great artists of the past: they are part of the fabric of art history, and in our opinion, deserve a place at the table. Or on our painting calendar, I should say. 


Famous Artists blog post - Cork & Chroma


Our ‘Starry Night’ painting unquestionably holds the most likeness to its famous predecessor by Vincent Van Gogh. In this piece we employ a similar colour palette as Van Gogh; there’s nothing quite like the deep blues in the sky and land contrasted against the bright, buttery yellows of the stars. We also draw on Van Gogh’s use of loose, staccato, layered brushstrokes to recreate the sense of energy and movement that swirls through the original. Van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist painter; he used bold colours and dramatic, expressive brushstrokes to build an impression of his subject, be that a portrait, still life, or landscape. This Impressionist style of painting is a fun and free way to paint, since the goal is not to achieve hyper-realism but rather an ‘impression’ of something else. There’s a reason Starry Night has remained a firm favourite on our painting rotation for nearly ten years. It’s a beautiful painting experience, that can be reimagined in all kinds of whimsical colour palettes. 


Famous Artists blog post - Starry Night by Cork & Chroma

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh - Cork and Chroma


Frida Kahlo is another artist who inspires us, not only with her artistic contribution, but also with her story. Kahlo’s art is a powerful reflection of her Mexican heritage, feminist beliefs, and experiences; her style, which often features bold, vibrant colours and surreal imagery, was heavily influenced by the physical and emotional struggles she endured throughout her life.

Kahlo’s paintings often featured self-portraits, which were a way she could express her innermost thoughts and emotions; her work was deeply personal and used as a form of social commentary, often dealing with themes of pain, suffering, inequality, and identity. Today her paintings are seen to be powerful and iconic symbols of resilience, strength, and female empowerment, reflecting the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit. We only have one portrait on our painting calendar and it’s ‘Floral Frida’, our ode to Frida Kahlo. We use a rich colour palette and bold brushstrokes in an effort to capture her expressive, fierce spirit. This one is a delight to paint; it’s enormous fun to customise this piece with the floral headdress and jewellery, and of course, painting Frida’s iconic monobrow is always a highlight. Some people choose to paint themselves as Frida, representing their own experiences and emotions through their portrait. We can’t ask Frida, but we think she’d approve.  


Famous Artists blog post - Frida Kahlo - Cork & Chroma

Frida Kahlo - Famous Artists Cork & Chroma blog post


Finally, we can’t forget Picasso. Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, who co-founded the Cubist movement and had a profound impact on the art world. His innovations in techniques, styles, and subjects challenged traditional norms and paved the way for new forms of artistic expression. His collection of works inspired countless writers, musicians, and artists, including our team here at Cork & Chroma! 

Picasso often painted portraits of friends, family, and lovers, and we take inspiration from this and his signature painting style in our ‘Picasso Your Pet’ and ‘Picasso Your Mate’ sessions. These sessions are unique to our regular sessions, since everyone in the room is using different colours, shapes, and expressions to evoke the personality of their own partner, pet dog, or goldfish. The results are vibrant and varied, which adds to the excitement and fun of it all!

Painting in the style of Picasso is all about experimentation and capturing the spirit of our subject, rather than trying to create a perfect imitation. We have mood boards for inspiration, where you can experiment with using different face angles, proportions, features, and poses to capture the essence of your subject. While you get to make all of the creative  decisions, our Cork & Chroma artist will explain how you can use Picasso’s fragmented and geometric Cubist style and bold, contrasting colours to depict your subject and help their spirit shine. Have fun with it, and let your imagination run wild!


Picasso Portrait - Famous Artists blog post by Cork & Chroma

Picasso Portrait - Famous Artists blog post by Cork & Chroma


Van Gogh, Frida and Picasso shared few commonalities with their art styles, but they do have one thing in common: their art was not widely recognised during their lifetimes. Their influence has magnified in the years since their death, and by keeping their art styles and stories alive, it will continue to. We often encourage guests to sign their paintings at the end of their session, saying that they never know how much it will be worth in a few years time.

They laugh, but you never know.


Paint and sip — that’s us for sure. But did you know? We’re so much more! 

Paint from our book, paint from a box, paint with your kit, paint in your jocks

Paint in cool merch. Paint with your team. Paint with your hens. Paint from our stream

All the options, no restraints. All you need to do is paint.

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