Copy Famous Paintings – Egon Schiele


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, accessed 13/11/2016

2 thoughts on “Copy Famous Paintings – Egon Schiele

  1. Pingback: 20 Famous Paintings for you to Copy | Zen School for Creative People

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