Fiji banner 2024 V2

Expressionism Art. 
Celebrate Your Misery?  
Throw Some Paint Around!

Lovely big emotions. 
Represent them with abandon and create an expressionist painting in the process!

Expressionism art is one of those genres that I don’t know a whole lot about. 

In my defence, Wikipedia says it’s notoriously hard to define.  Hopefully that’s got me out of some trouble.  My understanding of the genre though, is that it typically presents the world from a subjective point of view.  It’s tendency is to distort reality to evoke ideas and emotions in the viewer. 

The Scream by Edvard Munch

Again, I’m not an expert, but it seems to me, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch fits the description pretty well.  I can think of several occasions where I could have perhaps made a painting similar to that, and thereby entered the world of expressionism art.

This movement originated in Germany before World War I, although there were several artists prior to that time whose works could conceivably fit into that.  Typically expressionism art is “attached” to 20th Century artworks.

It seems easy to slip into the idea that expressionism is dark and angst-ridden.  However, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to suggest that that’s how it should be.  Joy, excitement and love are all powerful feelings worthy of expressing on your canvas.

Tips to create your own expressionist piece: 

If you have teenage children & you want to paint angst, this will be very easy ;)

  • Find a subject that creates a strong emotional response in you.
  • Rough out an image that you feel in some way illustrates these emotions.
  • Look at shapes, colours and lines, and see if distorting or altering them in any way will accentuate those feelings. 

TIP:  Distorting perspective can alter peoples' emotional responses to a painting. 

  • Different colours will also evoke and promote different emotional responses (and I know you know how to use the internet.  You can find out about colour and emotion there!).
  • When creating your expressionist painting, try to make marks with your paintbrush which are sympathetic to the mood you are trying to evoke.  Consider short, sharp strokes, or long flowing lines. 


Mark Waller's Measure of a Man was painted in an expressionism art style.

Top of Expressionism Art

Back To Painting Styles Page

Back to Explore Acrylic Painting Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.