Expressionism is an artistic style wherein an artist attempts to show subjective emotions and responses to objects and events that interest him. This is depicted by distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy.
This style is not governed by a rigid set of pre-existing rules. The colors used in expressionism art are often intense or violent. The exaggeration in colors display an intense emotional expression of the artist. The colors didn't have to be realistic but rather of a symbolic value largely determined by individual artist.
Kandinsky is widely quoted as saying: "The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul, so that it can weigh colors on its own scale and thus become a determinant in artistic creation".
An Example of Expressionism Art Work
|Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh|
Starry Night is one of the most well known art works in the world. One of the features of this painting is the night sky filled with swirling clouds, stars ablaze with their own luminescence, and the bright crescent moon. The painting shows much exaggeration but the subject is something that we can all relate to.
|Blue Horse by Franz Marc|
Franz Marc, a German Expressionist artist, believed that colors had a vocabulary of emotional keys. This is one tool that he used to raise his art to a higher spiritual plane and the other was his choice of the subject.
|The Scream by Edvard Munch|
Edvard Munch (pronounced Muenk) was a Norwegian painter whose psychological and emotional themes were a major influence on the development of German Expressionism in the early 20th century. The scream was regarded as an icon of the existential anguish of the post-industrial modern age.
Paint Like an Expressionist
If you think you are more comfortable with this style, you can start by letting your subject matter determine the colors for you to select. Go with your instinct. To start with, limit your selection of colors to five - a light, medium, dark, and two tones in between. Paint according to tone and not by hue. You can start adding complementary colors if you want more. Use the paints straight from the tube, unmixed.
Tips and Techniques
Pick a subject. You can use anything around you like bottle caps, glass, tumblers, cups, etc and incorporate them.
Gather your art materials and prepare your work space.You can vary your application tools from the traditional paint brushes to sticks, knives, strings or other applicators you can think of.
Plan your image and start painting. In the planning stage, determine ahead of time the materials you will use and what image you would want to convey to your viewers and the color combinations.
It is important to take note that not everyone will appreciate your art. Do not be discouraged but rather continue to paint for your own enjoyment and self satisfaction.