Copy Famous Paintings – Friedensreich Hundertwasser

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What is it?

This painting is a cropped piece of a larger work, Man find in Zahala”, 1975 by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser

How was this painting done?

Man find in Zahala” was done in watercolour with spiral motifs, primitive forms, spectral colors, and repetitive patterns. Throughout his career Hundertwasser used the six spectral colors almost exclusively.  In this picture the forms are abstracted, simplified and embellished with colour.

Hundertwasser believed painting to be a religious experience.  It was his intention to offer his viewers a glimpse of paradise.  This painting is highly decorative as was typical of the style in Austria at the time.  .

Hundertwasser liked to be viewed as a “magician of vegetation” and he is true to form in this painting.

Why should we care?

We have to admire Hundertwasser for his unusual ability to turn his skills to many diverse projects.  He was multi-talented.  Not content to merely paint and make prints, he was also an architect without credentials who wrote manifestos, designed posters and stamps, and travelled the globe bringing construction projects to realization and collecting awards. He was also an outspoken proponent of many environmental and anti-nuclear causes. Hundertwasser is best known for his vibrantly-colored, opulently-decorated paintings, graphic works and contribution to printmaking techniques.

Where can I see other paintings like it?

Hundertwasser’s early paintings were heavily influenced by the Vienna Secession tradition of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. His works from 1949 through to 1953 also display close affinity with well-known paintings by Paul Klee. “Small Rhythmic Landscape”, 1920 by Paul Klee has the same dreamlike landscape theme with similar primitive forms and repetitive patterns to those seen in Hundertwasser’s paintings.

Hundertwasser was good friends with and influenced by Rene (Bro) Brault.  Similarities in their work can be seen in Paysage Vallonn”, (date not found).  Brault’s palette was totally different from Hundertwasser’s  yet their treatment of trees was almost identical.

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.

 Hundertwasser’s style is displayed perfectly in this short video.

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Copy Famous Paintings – Egon Schiele

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What is it?

Painting Ceramics“, 1918 by Austrian artist, Egon Schiele.

How was this painting done?

Schiele did this painting on paper with watercolours.  He used a black crayon to draw the outline of the objects.  This is a simple painting done in a loose and organic style.   Schiele restricted his colours and kept the painting uncluttered with a plain background which was typical of his style.  The result is an entirely pleasing composition of “less being more.”

Why Should We Care?

Schiele is a great example of an artist who followed his passion and was not molded by beliefs of what art should be as thought by others.

Schiele, Gustav Klimt and others chose to break away from the Academie of Fine Arts and the Kunstlerhaus  in 1897 and form the Vienna Secessionists.

This enabled Schiele the freedom to create  the raw, direct,  erotic and deeply psychological paintings he preferred. His striking sinuous lines, use of colour and method of leaving a drawing or painting unfinished had not been seen before.  We are therefore, the beneficiaries of Schiele’s rebelliousness.

Where can I find more paintings like it?

The patterning on the vases in Schiele’s “Ceramics”, although done much later, reflects the influence of Japanese art after the influx of Japanese goods and  prints flooded Europe from 1853.

Vincent van Gogh’s Still Life With Roses and Anemones.”, 1890 and “Vase with Daisies and Poppies”, 1890 also reflect the influence  of Japonisme.

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
  • 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 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
  • 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!

You can also check out how to create a naive landscape after Schiele using watercolours which I posted some time ago.  Related posts after Klimt, cropped versions of “The Kiss” and Mother and Childalso appear in this category.

Image from https://www.wikiart.org/en/egon-schiele/ceramics-1918, accessed 13/11/2016

Drawing – Are You Over It?

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It is only natural to get tired and fatigued when you are drawing, after all, intense observation is hard work!

You could be getting tired of it if you notice:

  • A sudden awareness of time.
  • An awareness of distractions.
  • A tendency to draw from what you know rather than from observation.

If this happens, stop drawing! (at least for the time being anyway.)

The best way to get past this stage is to develop the technique of “focusing”.  This is done by capturing the most interesting part of the subject.  This plan is best selected ahead of time so you can concentrate on those areas before fatigue sets in.

Developing these chosen areas at the expense of others allows you to conserve your energy and time.  Then you can focus on drawing the good stuff that you like.

I focused on the eyes in the drawing above and left the rest a scribble.  Below Egon Schiele takes the topic further by focusing entirely on the hands and face.

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Will you plan your focus before starting your next drawing?  I don’t know what you think, but to me, there is something really appealing about an unfinished drawing.

An Easy Naive Cityscape Painting After Egon Schiele

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Egon Schiele was a very talented artist from Austria  He was born in 1890 and died of Spanish flu at only 28 years of age.  Schiele created many erotic paintings for which he was eventually jailed.  His unconventional use of colour and line had never been seen before.  You can make your own Schiele painting quickly and easily, here’s how.

Schiele Exercise – Allow 1  to 1 ½ hours

What art materials do I need?

  • A piece of good quality paper , I have used A3 sizd but you can use whatever size takes your fancy.  Not too small is good.
  • A piece of willow charcoal (easy to rub out with your finger)
  • A medium sized watercolour or acrylic brush.
  • A tube of white acrylic paint.
  • A few watercolours.  Work with either red and yellow + black and white (see below *) or blue and green + black and white.  If you use colours with these combinations you will not end up with a rainbow painting.  By restricting yourself with colour this way, you automatically create colour harmony without you knowing it!
  • Rags or disposable kitchen towels for spills
  • A palette, I used an old white kitchen plate.
  • A plastic container for water.

What to paint on?

I selected a hard piece of cardboard (off the back of an old watercolour pad) and primed it with my own homemade gesso primer.    You don’t have to do this; working directly on to paper is fine.

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Select a photograph to paint from

Next I looked at Egon Schiele’s paintings of houses, which I love!  I then selected a photograph of a similar scene and went to work.

EGON SCHIELE PHOTOGRAPH

How to draw the houses

I did a very rough charcoal drawing of the houses. Don’t worry if your shapes are wonky, you can go over them with paint later.  Actually, I got lost in the drawing and eventually created my own shapes, doors and windows.  I just kept on joining the lines and decided to add some crazy trees in the foreground at the end.

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Let’s start painting

Next I painted between the lines with white acrylic paint. Don’t worry if some of the charcoal moves into the paint, this is what will make the painting interesting.  I used the paint directly from the tube with no water to make the surface as textured as possible.  This will create lovely variations in colour when the paint runs all over the place!

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Allow the painting to dry

I had a cup of tea while I allowed this to dry.  Usually 30 minutes is enough time.  Putting the work out in the sun helps too but make sure your work is not in a dusty spot.

Let’s paint with watercolours

Next, select your watercolour tubes according to my colour recommendations above. * TIP: You can make a lovely green with black and yellow, just add white for a lighter green.

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Then check out your photograph and lay colours down according to what you see.  Put the background in first, then the dark colours, the mid tone colours and then the lightest colours last.  Your colours do not have to be exactly the same as the ones you see.  Just try to make sure the dark, mid and light tones are true to what you see otherwise your painting will look great but will only be shapes of colours.  And we want houses, don’t we?

TIP:  Put the watercolours down once only and leave them.  Watercolour has magical properties when left to do its own thing!

Watch your paint brush create magic

At the end I went over the charcoal lines with a thin brush dampened with water.  The charcoal will run and make a line.  I also put in the windows by using black (with a dot of red) watercolour paint and a thin brush.

My finished painting

This is my finished painting, it looks kind of naive but I ended up really liking it.  Putting it in a frame turned it into a magical piece of work totally suitable for my hallway!  So put yours in a frame if you can and see what happens!

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A tip used by professional artists

To make the houses come forward in the painting, paint them in warm colours.  The background or sky will recede if painted in cool colours.  This would require you to buy warm and cool versions of the watercolours mentioned above.  Ask at your art shop if you’re not sure.

You may also like to check out a later post on how to create a vibrant and interesting still life after Schiele.