What is it?
A painting, “Horse in a Landscape”, 1910 by Franz Marc
How was this painting done?
This painting was completed in oils on canvas. ‘Horse In Landscape” is an early work where Marc (inspired by Wassily Kandinsky) experiments with colour. Here we see a red horse with a blue mane and tail looking over a landscape defined by yellow, red, green and blue areas. The horse is standing with its back to the observer, so is seen from viewers’ eyes.
Marc took a Cubist approach in the display and creation of the animals he painted. He approached the painting simply by focusing on the animal and raw emotion rather than drawing in from external factors like background. Rendering the subject realistically was not Marc’s concern.
Why should we care?
When Marc was 20 years old he began to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich and eventually became a key figure in the German Expressionist movement. Marc created art that increasingly, was stark and abstract in nature. At age 34 and having been drafted into the army to fight in WWI, Marc enjoyed painting tarpaulins for military camouflage. Sadly, Marc was killed by a shell splinter in 1916.
As a young man whose life was lost needlessly in war, we honour Franz Marc and can only imagine what paintings he may have produced had he lived to old age. The shadow of lives lost in war hovers over us still and we are indebted to artists like Marc. His paintings, particularly the brushstrokes, subject matter. abstraction and colour have left timeless memories for us to enjoy.
Where can I see other paintings like it?
In “Promenade”, 1913 and “Tightrope Walker”, 1914 by August Macke we see a similar blend of Cubism, colour, distortion and form used to express emotions and feelings.
Robert Delaunay, whose use of colour, design, Futurist and Cubist methods was also a major influence on Marc’s work. This can be seen in “The Rainbow”, 1913. Delaunay makes a clear statement by using colour and form to describe his joy upon seeing a rainbow. His primary concern is with expressing emotion, feelings and mood.
Meditate, relax and enjoy
Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself. There can be no mistakes in making this painting. Everything ends up as it should be. 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 water soluble 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 water soluble 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
- 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 colour you put down
The Drawing Process
Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing with the crayon 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.
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