What is it?
A painting,“Yavlensky and Verevkin”, 1908 by German artist, Gabrielle Münter
How was this painting done?
This painting has color as the star of the show. Münter uses a number of very unusual, carefully mixed, tertiary blues, greens, yellows, and pinks. The composition and forms are very flat and the colors are muted and suggestive. The figures are as abstract as the landscape with the brightly coloured hat of the lady sitting centrally within a triangle of background clouds. The impression is one of a summer’s day in the mountains.
Even though Münter’s palette was bright, great sadness is reflected in her paintings. Münter studied with the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky and the relationship progressed from friendship to love affair. Kandinsky was married for fifteen years while he was in a relationship with Münter. Later and with WWI imminent, Kandinsky fled to Russia and married a recent acquaintance in Moscow. These events affected Münter’s art.
Why should we care?
Münter had a life of mixed blessings. Sadly, both her parents died before she turned 21. To Münter’s benefit, she was left with a substantial inheritance and was then able to devote her life to painting. The artist was repeatedly refused enrollment in the German art academies because of her gender.
With persistence, passion and the financial security of her inheritance, Münter was eventually able to learn from the best teachers. Münter proved she was able to paint as well as the men in the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group of which she was a member.
Münter is a great example to us all. With persistence, passion and despite the ups and downs of life, she achieved what seemed impossible for a woman at the time.
Where can I see other paintings like it?
Münter’s paintings show the influence of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse. Similarities can also be seen in “Blauer Berg”, 1910 and “Landscaftstudie – Dorfstrasse”, 1908 by Alexej von Jawlensky. The strong influence of Russian artists and Der Blaue Reiter members, von Jawlensky and Kandinsky is evident in Münter paintings done in the early 1900s.
Meditate, relax and enjoy
There can be no mistakes in making this painting. Everything ends up as it should be. Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself, here’s how:
You will need
- a small canvas, 30cm x 40cm is a good size (recycled is okay as below)
- tubes of primary acrylic colours, blue, red and yellow plus white
- a dark watercolour crayon
- soft nylon paint brushes, (small, medium and a little larger)
- water in an old container
- a rag or disposable cloth
- two or three hours
Tips on the Process
- prime the canvas first, otherwise, just a wash and dry with a towel
- print the photo you want to work from, measure and cut into quarters to make your drawing in a grid
- turn the original photo upside down to make the drawing
- use a dark coloured watercolour crayon for your drawing
- correct drawing right-side up from the original
- erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
- it is a big plus if the watercolour crayon mark bleeds into the painting
- everything is easily painted over or blended in with acrylics
- paint in the background first
- create a perfect skin tone by blending warm yellow, warm red, a dot of cool blue and lots of white, experiment first
- The painting will not look great at the initial blocking in stage, stay with it for a pleasant surprise
- try not to use paint directly from the tube; experiment with how to mix colours
- acrylics dry darker than the mixed colour
The Drawing Process
Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing first. This is just a framework to place the figure on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.
Otherwise, you may use my drawing below. I suggest you ask your copy shop to print the PDF below onto a canvas and proceed to make your own unique painting. Otherwise, you can print the copy on to good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it.
Original image from http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/gabrielemunter.php