Copy Famous Paintings – Emil Nolde

emil-nolde

What is it?

A painting titled Windmill”, 1924 by German artist, Emil Nolde

How was this painting done?

Nolde has gone out on a limb with this painting.  Most artists shy away from using black as it is sometimes believed to be a dead colour.  Green is also a difficult colour to mix and can so easily appear garish and take over a painting.

Here the artist has successfully used these two controversial colours.  The black is mixed with a very small amount of green to make a “living black”.  Nolde has mixed a tertiary green and toned it down by placing it directly beside its almost complementary colour, orange.  His placement of these two colours has created energy and vibrancy resulting in a painting that literally jumps off the canvas.

Nolde was a true artist who communicated immediately with his vision, his impulses and his influences. He gave this ordinary scene a disturbing presence.

Why should we care?

Nolde was one of the strongest and most independent of the German Expressionists and a member of the Dresden-based group known as Die Brücke. He was also a supporter of the Nazi party from the early 1920s, having become a member of its Danish section.

Adolf Hitler rejected all forms of modernism as “degenerate art“, and the Nazi regime officially condemned Nolde’s work. Until that time he had been held in great prestige in Germany. A total of 1,052 of Nolde’s paintings were removed from museums, more than those of any other artist. Some were included in the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937, despite Nolde’s protests.

Nolde was not allowed to paint, even in private, after 1941.  As a matter of necessity, and in secret, he painted hundreds of watercolours in this time, which he hid.  Nolde called them the “Unpainted Pictures”.  The painter, although deprived of his livelihood as an artist, was loyal to the Nazi cause to the bitter end.  Nolde’s troubles, he claimed, were based on a “misunderstanding” and Hitler was simply misled by those around him in rejecting Nolde’s art.

Nolde was not only passionate about his painting, he was also loyal and forgiving, values we all aspire to today.

Where can I see other paintings like it?

Similarities can be seen inWindmill”, 1909 by Erich Heckel 

In this painting, fellow Die Brücke member, Heckel shows a similar use of colour although the brush strokes are much bolder and more like mark making.  Unlike Nolde, the artist has left areas of the canvas uncovered.   

And another expressionist work, “Spring Landscape at the Red House”, 1935 by Edvard Munch

In this landscape, Munch, like Nolde, has used intense colours, semi-abstraction and a mysterious, open-ended theme.

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 onto good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it.

 

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The original image is copyrighted and was accessed on 03/02/2017 from   http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=104236  It is used here for educational purposes only.

 

 

Copy Famous Paintings – Edvard Munch

tate-copy-girls-on-the-bridge

What is it?

Painting, “Girls on the Bridge“, 1927 by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch

How was this painting done?

Edvard Munch was inspired by the street scenes he saw and in this painting he shows a prominent foreground and strong diagonals into the distance.  He has painted the scene in a semi-abstract way with intense colours layered on top of each other.

Why Should We Care?

Due to a childhood of illness and death in his family, Munch had a preoccupation with themes of anxiety, emotional suffering, and human vulnerability.  In his art he tried to explain life and its meaning not only to himself, but to others.   Edvard Munch tried to help others clarify their lives.  He was the first European artist to do this.

Where can I find other paintings like this?

Edvard Munch was influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.  You can see this in Van Gogh’s “Girl in White” and Gauguin’s The Siesta

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
  • 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
  • an hour or two

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 colour crayon for your drawing
  • correct drawing right-side up from the original
  • erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
  • it is okay for the watercolour crayon mark to bleed into the painting
  • everything is easily painted over 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
  • create a perfect skin tone by blending warm yellow, warm red, a dot of cool blue and lots of white, experiment first
  • layering colours on top of others using the scumbling technique creates magic
  • 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.  It’s your painting after all!

This is my finished painting and the drawing PDF.

Image from The Tate Museum accessed 13/10/2016

An Acrylics Exercise after Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh Exercise 031

This exercise in the Expressionist style can be done at home and is suitable for beginners.  Painting in an Expressionist way means responding to the subject with your emotions. Bold use of colour, distorting forms or painting them more simply as blocks of colour that interact with each other are some of the features of Expressionist painting.  If you are keen to research, some artists who worked in this style are Van Gogh, Oscar Kokoschka and Edvard Munch. Now if you are ready to get started the following “night sky” exercise is an easy one for artists of all levels including beginners.

You will need:

  • 8 pots of acrylic paint, warm primary coloursUltramarine blue, a warm yellow and a warm red.  Cool primary colours, cool blue, Lemon yellow, Alizirian Crimson.  1 black and 1 white. Ask at your art shop for the different cool and warm colours.
  • 2 long handled paint brushes, one small, and one medium.
  • A small canvas, canvas board or paper suitable for painting with acrylics.  The size is up to you.  If using a canvas prime it first, otherwise wash with warm soapy water and dry.
  • Rags, a container for water.
  • If using paper, you may prefer to tape it to a board to make things easier.
  • Palette, I used two old kitchen plates.

You will need to allow about one hour for this exercise.  Do not be too precious about this process.  As you can see, I have slapped the paint on and the end result is loose and spontaneous.  You can do likewise!

Van Gogh Exercise 003

Firstly, draw in a simple village scene with pencil.  With ultramarine blue and a small long handled brush, draw over your pencil lines.  Holding the brush by the end of the long handle will allow your drawing to be loose and flowing creating a harmonious painting

Van Gogh Exercise 004

Complete all parts of the drawing with the blue paint.

Van Gogh Exercise 006

Paint in some crazy swirls for the starry sky.

Van Gogh Exercise 008

Mix in a small amount of cool red (Alizirian Crimson) into the Ultramarine blue to make a sky colour.  Paint in the sky with your medium sized brush. This cool colour will show the sky as receding.

Van Gogh Exercise 009

This is how your painting should look so far.

Van Gogh Exercise 010

Make up a green by mixing Ulttramarine Blue and Warm Yellow plus a very small dot of red.

Van Gogh Exercise 011

Paint in the foreground trees.  This warm green will bring the trees forward.  Cooler colours in the background will allow the scene to recede.

Van Gogh Exercise 012

Mix up a brighter green by using warm yellow and a small dot of ultramarine blue.

Van Gogh Exercise 013

Paint the yellowish green into the trees here and there using small strokes.  This will show the highlights of the foreground trees. Be bold with this and don’t be concerned where the highlights are placed, just allow the darker colours to show also, do not cover them completely.

Van Gogh Exercise 014

This is how your trees might look after putting in the highlights.

Van Gogh Exercise 015

Next, add some white to your ultramarine blue mix to add to the sky.

Van Gogh Exercise 016

Place dotted swirls through the sky in a flowing pattern and continue to swirl it through the areas previously defined for the stars.  Use dot strokes with your brush to get the Expressionist look.

Van Gogh Exercise 017

This is how your painting might look at this stage. It is best to take a break now and allow 20 minutes for the work to dry.

Van Gogh Exercise 018

Using a cool yellow (e.g. lemon yellow) continue to use small strokes to define the stars and sky even further.

Van Gogh Exercise 019

Mix up a cool green with Lemon yellow and Ultramarine blue plus a dot of Alizirian Crimson for the distant and foreground hills.  Paint them in using broad strokes.

Van Gogh Exercise 020

Add warm yellow in small strokes to the foreground hills to bring them forward.

Van Gogh Exercise 024

Mix up a lightish purple with Ultramarine blue, Alizirian Crimson and a small amount of white.

Van Gogh Exercise 025

Paint broad strokes of this purple into the night sky, particularly close to the hills and bring strokes of this purple throughout the painting into the hills.

Van Gogh Exercise 026

You can use the purple and other colours you may have on your palette to paint in the houses.  Stay with the colours you have already used.  It is best not to introduce new colours at this stage.

Van Gogh Exercise 027

Mix up a dark colour with warm red and cool blue.  If this colour is not dark enough for your liking, you may add a very small amount of black.  Use this colour to go around the houses.

Van Gogh Exercise 030

You can also use this colour to define the hills.

Van Gogh Exercise 031

Don’t forget to show where the moonlight hits the tops of the trees and houses by using dots of a light yellowish white on the tops of the trees and the roofs of the houses. Notice how I have left the foreground warm and light.  You have artistic licence and if you want to change anything just go over it once dry.  That is the beauty of acrylics!

A related post after van Gogh can be found in “Copy the Great Masters” category.