Today we are going to look at the artist Gustave Klimt, who will help us to see the the patterns and shapes in nature, from which we derive what we came to call symbols. Gustav Klimt was born in 1872 and was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt was greatly influenced by Japanese art and its methods, and transitioned from a more conventional manner or painting, so develop a more personal style, which was considered ahead of his time.
His painting entered a "golden phase", many of which included the use of gold leaf, and we'll be looking at one of the most recognized paintings of his career, "The Tree of Life". "The Tree of Life", painted in 1905, was the only landscape created by the artist doing his golden period.
The branches twist, twirl, turn, spiral and undulate, creating a tangle of strong branches, long vines and fragile threads. With its branches reaching for the sky, the tree of life roots into the earth beneath, creating the connection between heaven and earth, that we are born, grow, and return back to the earth, a concept often used to explain the concept of the tree of life, in many cultures, religions and ideologies.
Below is the painting that we are going to draw today, whilst incorporating some of the elements, such as the bird, from the above painting. This painting "Tree of Life, 20th" sits infant of the swirling branches, butterflies, and symbols in the background. See how the tree in the foreground has been created using simple shapes: triangles, lines, and circles.
So, now to the drawing!
*One of the things you will notice is the use of outline in Klimt's painting, a technique that dates back over 30,000 years ago to prehistoric art. And it is this technique that will greatly help us draw our tree today.