Learn how to paint like Willem de Kooning, one of the key artists of the postwar Abstract Expressionist style, also referred to as "action painting," with IN THE STUDIO instructor Corey D'Augustine.
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Over the course of a career lasting nearly seven decades, de Kooning would work through a wide array of styles, eventually cementing himself as a crucial link from New York School painting to European modernism.
Physical labor and countless revisions were constants in his work, which ranged from abstraction to figuration, often merging the two. “I never was interested in how to make a good painting…,” he once said. “I didn’t work on it with the idea of perfection, but to see how far one could go…”
The female figure was an especially fertile subject for the artist. His paintings of women were among his most controversial works during his lifetime and continue to be debated today.
After conversations with The Willem de Kooning Foundation, MoMA would like to share the following corrections with our viewers:
Though many of de Kooning’s paintings have very thick surfaces relative to more traditionally approached paintings, there is no evidence of any painting that has close to the 2 inch thick surface that our video indicates.
There is no evidence that de Kooning ever had or used a six foot long brush as indicated in the video. Long brushes were given to de Kooning as gifts, and he likely experimented with them. However, he did not regularly use them. It appears instead that de Kooning often used shorter brushes, such as house painters’ brushes, and regularly walked away from the canvas to look at it from a distance.
De Kooning used underdrawings as starting points to generate ideas to explore in painting as opposed to as warming up exercise as indicated in the video.
Education at MoMA is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.
Featuring Corey D'Augustine, Educator and Independent Conservator.
The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist.
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that creamy cobalt, esp after adding linseed oil, really grabbed me... now i want to try oil paints since i can make it fluid... I Love fluid acrylic painting and the effects different pigments create, and this demo has turned me on to oil i think
when I first started painting I did non representational art like this. It was fun to make, but I found it unfulfilling. It meant nothing to me. Said nothing about me or anything else. But, it was all I could do. After much hard work I now paint representational and that is where true abstraction lies. Making, through the use of paint, a two dimensional image appear to be three. What people referr to as "abstract art" is really the most "realistic art". It is exactly what you see, paint smeared on a flat surface. There is no "abstraction".
de Kooning is certainly not one of my favourite painters, or at least his work; to be more specific, is not to my taste. Through Corey D'Augustine, I can see the pleasure of the actuality of making such work. D'Augustine knows his stuff. By elucidating mixes of paints, oils and water and so on, the process becomes more interesting and inspiring. A painting tutor said to me, 'A painting is never finished'. A bit like a good party; you've got to know when to leave ! Otherwise, at a certain point, it will be 'all downhill from here!'
It is fascinating how you can make what looks like chaotic child's art to me sound like science. I think you are a great teacher. But I admit that I cannot understand this style of art. I am no way an expert but looking at de Kooning's paintings online, I always was able to make out some kind of figure although it was really distorted and smudged out and messy. I know that this is an example of his technique but I still cannot see the figure you were trying to shape here.
However I did take a lesson from this, so thank you.
It just baffles me how simple paintings like this and those extremely simple pours and scrapes and simplex abstract paintings that can be done in under an hour it just baffles me how those things can sell for thousands and thousands of dollars and I'm not talking about the ones 50 years old I'm talking about the ones today when you have all these highly gifted artists or artists who maybe are not as gifted but have the work ethic who have such amazing technique and detail and spend hours and hours on their work and yet they sell a 20 by 24 for only $300. When some other dude makes a painting any 6th grader can do and it sells for $7,000 all because he got with the right people and they bullshitted about what the painting means when the truth is he just slapped down colors onto a canvas and then thought of some creative idea for it later. I'm not saying that's not art. Of course it is. I'm talking about rewarding people for their true efforts, skill, and their insight. It is an absolute crime that some of these guys scribble some lines on canvas or slap or pour some stuff here and there in under an hour and put a $10,000 price tag on something while these other brilliant artists slave away and get $300 for something 50 times more creative.
Thats truly painterly joy - its nearly impossible not to jump up and start painting immediately - and no doubt a good idea to do this style with Blick studio quality or it might be a very expensive painting
This is terrible.. no matter how much he 'thought' about the strokes he was doing, it doesn't take away from the fact that a 5 year old could paint this accidentally. I like abstract art but it still needs form. This is literally just colour randomly dispersed on a canvas.
It is a really good class for the abstract painter like myself, I often don't know when to stop, and I agree with some of the comments below, most of time we stopped the painting because we run of paint, and we do not like waste of paint, but the interesting thing I have recently discovered is that we can always add the paint back when it's still dry. Somewhere else must need that part of paint. thank you for making this video for us.
Cool video, thank you for sharing. Man, that's a lot of paint! I would love to spend some time in a multimedia studio, where you can use all the supplies without limit, everything you can dream of! And make a mess, if necessary (er, you know they would have drop cloths and stuff). Oh Geez, what a blast that would be! I live in Vancouver, Washington...just across the river from Portland, Oregon. I imagine there must be an art studio around here somewhere that you could pay a fee for so many hours of playtime. I wonder if places like this exist? I'm gonna look into locating this magical studio <3 I hope I can afford to get in!
And if I ever become rich, I will open a studio like this, for sure! The richer I am the less it will cost, and the larger it will be. Like an entire warehouse or something. Imagining the possibilities...scheduled art classes, art students would certainly be involved in different ways I suppose. The possibilities are endless :-)
I'm confined to a tiny space in the corner of my bedroom. My desk/art table is 4 feet by 4 feet, and only one inch from the foot of my bed. My table holds a 12 inch deep by 36 inch wide shelf, and houses my art supplies and books. I also have a computer monitor, a lamp, and a few other items here. And the flooring is cream colored carpet. Plus, I'm poor and live in an apartment. I don't imagine management would allow me to get paint in the grassy area outside. But, maybe with a sheet down...hmm. Haha, and a makeshift easel?
Thank you for this video, it's interesting. I think I will watch more in this series, and subbing now <3 ~Stacey
The "Monkey Make" version of a de Kooning painting. This makes no sense since it is impossible to synopsize "vision" in this manner. He would be more helpful for us to talk about his own paint-making, even if it is in the style of.....
art is supposed to take time, a few weeks at least, this took 30 minutes tops, but its "expressive", my ass, how about you make a beautiful painting for a couple of weeks and then use your emotions to ruin it, then it will be "expressive"
If you want to save your paint brushes, never use it to mix a big amount of paint. There is an available palette knives in different sizes. Paint will penetrate the deep ending of the brush attached to the handle and when the paint dries off, your brush will become stiff and out of shape.
People who are like buhhhhh modern art dumb (and meaning contemporary art) just look at the critically acclaimed in the art establishment world and not the smaller digital art of the not quite masses which can be truly expressive and occasionally very beautiful and moving (though fanart and stuff can be a bit formulaic)
I look at painting tutorials obsessively over past 8 years and totally overwhelmed. Most teach you how to do rocks, clouds, trees, etc. and they make PERFECT sense when watching, but I'm lost when i do it myself. Tones.....i understand, but it's the actual shaping and forming of things...rocks, clouds, trees.. I do alot of what this guy does...taking off paint from canvas constantly, unsatisfied with what I've just done. Question is...is it better to not watch learning videos, and just do it your own way? Can an artist become very good over years of toiling without reading and watching other experienced artists? I don't have memory of all the knowledge i've read that i can instantly recall as i paint. I wish i did.
I'm so torn. I love oils but I love my acrylics. I love the acrylics because of the fast drying time and then because of that the ability to build multiple layers on each other without mixing with the previous layer. You can't really do that with oils can you? Unless you waint for them to dry but that could take quite a while. I love laying down lots of colors in acrylic wait an hour and be able to come back and lay down a thin wash, etc. rins and repeat until I get an very complex build going on.
For all the people watching, it is always better to mix your paints, especially oil paint, with a palette knife. The paint, any kind really, sinks into the bottoms of the paint brushes and may ruin their softness and quality. And generally, cleaning them becomes harder.
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