Copy Famous Paintings – André Derain


What is it?

Big Ben” painted by French artist, André Derain in 1908

How was this painting done?

André Derain applied paint in small dabs and dashes and he often used the combination of fiery oranges, yellows, greens and purple.  The effect is almost overpowering in its vibrant impact and shock of colour.

Why should we care?

In the early 20th century Derain was a founding member of a radical new movement in Paris called Fauvism.  Fauve painters such as Maurice de Vlaminck, Henri Matisse and André Derain used colour to enhance their work’s emotional power and appeal to the viewers’ senses. This new style was refreshing because it moved away from the dark and disturbing paintings being done at the time.  This use of colour had not been seen before and the Fauve painters thankfully opened the door to a new world of colour.

Where can I find more paintings like this?

There are many great examples of Fauve paintings to be enjoyed and you may even like to complete one.

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
  • 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 then proceed.
  • It is best to use bright colours directly from the tube for this exercise.
  • You will need to allow an hour or two because the painting looks best with lots of dabs of colour.
  • When drawing, try to position the sun in line with its reflection on the water.
  • There are no mistakes as the colours mix with the eye when the painting is viewed at a distance.

The Drawing Process

I did the drawing with my paintbrush as I went along.  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 was my finished painting.  Next time I will make it much brighter.



Image sourced from accessed 9/10/2016

1 thought on “Copy Famous Paintings – André Derain

  1. Pingback: 21 is your lucky number! 21 famous paintings for you to copy… | Zen School for Creative People

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