The inspiration for creating an expressionist painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger came during my trip to Los Angeles last year. Driving around I came across a giant painting of him on the side of a building right in the heart of Muscle Beach. How do you paint a portrait in a colorful expressionist style?
Fundamentals of Expressionism
While searching for expressionist painting tutorials on YouTube, I came across Voka, an Austrian expressionist painter who specializes in a style he trademarked as “Spontaneous Realism.” He begins his painting by randomly spreading watered down acrylic paint on a large canvas. Then Voka uses a black and white photo as a reference for painting different color values to achieve an interesting look. Procreate brushes handle color differently from traditional tools. I’ve been using Voka’s method of painting expressionism as a way to evaluate value and use of color theory.
The Road to Success
Listening to Schwarzenegger’s autobiography “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” on audio book has also put his life in perspective for me. His bodybuilding career really took off when he met Joe Weider in Venice.
He’s always been a bit source of inspiration ever since I was a kid. It was interesting to learn about how he visualized his success by having posters on his wall of the physique he wanted to achieve through hard work and dedication. His dream carried him through the nay-sayers even when bodybuilding wasn’t taken seriously.
This painting tries to capture a moment in Arnold’s youth with a Californian artistic style.