Monday, January 3, 2011

Messin' with the Masters: Klimt


For some inexplicable reason, I became obsessed with the artwork of Gustav Klimt during the Christmas holiday season.  I've admired his work for a long time, and years ago, I created a series of paintings inspired by his style.  At that time, I didn't really "study" his method of painting, so I decided to take a closer look at his compositions.

I found this wonderful website,, and read about his life, and studied his paintings and drawings. (CAUTION: His drawings contain explicit sex imagery).  It's been said that he was quite a womanizer, but what I saw as I gazed at his paintings, was a respect for women as creatures of great beauty. As I studied the patterns in his work, I suddenly remembered seeing this stunning photograph of the model, Iman, (David Bowie's wife) taken by Mark Seliger for Harper's Bazaar Magazine.

Inspired by this photo of Iman and Klimt's, "Tree of Life", I began my own journal spread in the style of Klimt.

I began with pages that I had coated with paint left over from my previous spread.

First, I roughed in the Iman inspired figure using a medium shade of ultramarine blue.

Then I took ultramarine, red, yellow and white to mix a rich brown.  It had a little too much blue, so I warmed it by adding more red.

I lightly sketched in the tree trunk and a few of the main limbs with a pencil, and then I painted it in with the brown.

I then began adding details to the face and hair. I decided that I didn't like all the yellow, so I toned it down by adding pink to the background.  I used the same red and white that I used for mixing the brown.

I decided that the tree was too dark, so I put a layer of orange on top of it because I knew I would be adding more blue to the spread.  I added the details of the bird and then the flower shapes.

I really enjoyed exploring Klimt's style as a journal spread, but his style is so detailed that I would enjoy this exploration on a larger scale.  I'm thinking I might try a 30" x 40" canvas.  Painting the little flowers in my journal is very tedious, so I haven't quite finished this spread.  I actually started a second Klimt inspired spread to give myself a break from this one.  I will show you this finished spread and the second spread next week in "Part Two.

Until next time, put your records on, pull out those art supplies and "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create"!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love the colors!
    Thanks for sharing;-)

  3. Ang, I have moved my blog to wordpress and if you want to see it here it is.

  4. I like Klimt too. Beautiful journal pages here. Your blog is very colorful, love your background.

  5. Very cool! Thanks for sharing your inspiration and process. :)
    (lgramlich from Ovation)

  6. OhMyGoodness do I LOVE this!! You are so brilliant!! BRILLIANT!

  7. Angelina, this one is fabulous!!! Keep on messin with the masters!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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