Copy Famous Paintings – Gustav Klimt

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What is it?

The Kiss“, Gustav Klimt 1907-1908, Oil and gold leaf on canvas.

How was the painting done?

The painting is done in flat blocks of colour with an emphasis on design and influences from the Japanese art of Ukiyo-e.  The male figure is shown as square and rectangular and the female with soft lines and floral patterns.  Klimt has combined visual arts with ornament on a square canvas in oil and applied layers of gold leaf.

Why should we care?

Klimt went against his academic training to create his own eclectic, decorative, erotic and fantastic style.  He combined influences from the Arts and Craft MovementArt Nouveau and Japonisme.  There had been prior opposition to art which had been considered “decorative“.  Klimt was brave enough to challenge those beliefs and we today, are the lucky beneficiaries.

Where can I find more paintings like this?

You will see similar decorative patterning in the work of Egon Schiele and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.

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
  • 3 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
  • 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
  • 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 figures on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.  I mostly worked upside down so I was concerned only with shapes.

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!

Finished Piece

klimt-the-kiss

Image from https://www.belvedere.at/gustav-klimt, accessed 12/10/2016

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

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“The ultimate measure of a man (or woman) is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Is Martin Luther King Jr. saying that our actions define us?

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

PENTAX Image

“Now, let’s suppose that there’s someone who repeats a pattern of being unhelpful and sometimes unkind. You can still offer love and compassion either from a distance or by setting boundaries. In any case, know that when someone chooses to act without positive personal regard for you, it’s almost never about you.” Michelle Fondin

Courage – Daily Therapy

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“Making art is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.”  Gene Fowler

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

3.12 Reverse Psychology 50cm x 37cm

“The seed for your next art work lies embedded in the imperfections of your current piece.  These perceived imperfections are  non-judgmental guides to matters you may like to take further. David Bayles .

 

 

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

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“To see far is one thing: going there is another.”  Constantin Brancusi

Copying Great Masters as an Exercise – Edgar Degas Amrita Sher Gil, Pierre Bonnard

 

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Above is my copy of the Edgar Degas work titled “Combing the Hair” (La Coiffure), 1896 (top).  I really liked working with these different tones of orange and the contrast of the purple in the dress of the servant girl on the right really tied everything together.

 

Brides Toilet

 

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The next one copied was a painting by Amrita Sher Gil titled, “Bride’s Toilet” (top).  I love the abstracted figures, the composition and the colours used in this work. It has a mystical other worldly look that I found impossible to capture.

I had some difficulty with this work and in the end, went my own way and did not look at the original at all.  My copy does not have the mood of what seems to be a candle lit room as seen in the original.  Copying this work helped me to accept various aspects of my figures that were out of proportion.

 

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The third one copied was “Wild Flowers”, 1916 by Pierre Bonnard

The unusual shape of the vase, the use of blue and brown together and the red reflected in the background and flowers combine to make this a great painting.  The subject is simple yet it speaks of majesty and wonder.

My copy is on the right.  I used potato cuts for the flowers to get some random shapes and went over them in detail later.  For the stems I used string dipped in acrylic paint and pressed into the paper.

Copying great masters can be fun.  You can learn a lot by by imagining what the artist may have been seeing and feeling all those years ago.  These three copies were painted in acrylic on paper.

Courage – Daily Therapy

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Feeling timid and reluctant to stick your neck out?

You are not alone.  Would you consider talking out your fears with someone you can trust?

Courage – Daily Therapy

Greyhounds

“Let nature teach you the way of courage.  Animals, plants, wild and living things of every stripe and color know the art of taking chances.  Learn from them.”  Linus Mundy

Courage – Everyday Therapy

4.22 The Sun 41cm x 30cm

Are you courageous enough to believe life is safe?

Are you indeed courageous enough to believe flowing with the current of being is the simplest way to live?

Would you dare to believe resistance never really succeeds and trying to control the flow of life is impossible?