Oil Pastels – Fauvism

I’m very thankful for the people who visit my blog and I’ve noticed one of the ‘often read’ posts is about Fauvism… a subject I worked on in 2011.

I’d like to revisit this topic from then and share a bit about what I learnt.

I learnt so much while covering this topic, but my original impression was ‘Oh yuk and how gaudy’.. sorry, but I did… much like one of the original critics, viewing ‘Le Fauves’ work (although I didn’t know this at the time, as this was prior to my research).  I can honestly say though, that now my feelings are quite different… Fauvism has given me freedom of expression particularly with colour..and such an appreciation for the talents and even daring, of these artists from long ago.

*** Please remember these are MY thoughts I am sharing, not a general opinion.

The Brief:   Part 1 – To sketch ‘Landscape’ examples of work from Artists of the Fauvism movement.

I chose Andre Derain and Henri Matisse.  These are my own sketches / studies of the original artist’s works.

Oil pastel study of Andre Derain’s work – “The Mountains at Collioure” 1905
Oil pastel study of Henri Matisse’s work – “The Sea at Collioure” 1906

Doing these studies was a real eye opener and gave me such an appreciation for the skills of these artists! I found the Matisse study to be quite difficult. Wow!

Part 2 – To create a triptych using oil pastels with mark making, each drawing being unique, but simultaneously belonging to the others to read as a whole.  Each drawing must be a landscape drawing using complimentary colours, working on A1 size, coloured ground.

My first attempt (Red and Green) was fun to do, but looking back quite hideous…lol

– original attempt at Green and Red fauvism –

This was a good starting point.  Moving on…

After this first attempt, I decided to work on Orange and Blue as I love these complimentaries together.

Now I’m starting to get the idea…

– Fauvism, Orange and Blue,
Oil pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes 160g paper
50 x 70cm by Robyn Gosby, 2011 –

Secondly, Red and Green

– Fauvism, Red and Green,
Oil pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes 160g paper
50 x 70cm by Robyn Gosby, 2011 –

and lastly Purple and Yellow.

– Fauvism, Purple and Yellow,
Oil pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes 160g paper
50 x 70cm by Robyn Gosby, 2011 –

These drawings were completed over 4 or 5 weeks.

At the time, they were a big undertaking (and probably still would be), but were in the end a very satisfying process.

As I said previously, the 3 drawings were to read as One.  This was my end result.

Fauvist Inspired triptych to read, as a whole.

About Fauvism:

At the start of the 20th century, two young artists, Henri Matisse and André Derain formed the basis of a group of painters who enjoyed painting pictures with outrageously bold colours. The group were nicknamed ‘Les Fauves’ which meant ‘wild beasts’ in French. Their title was coined by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles who was amused by the exaggerated colour in their art. At the Salond’automne of 1905 he entered a gallery where Les Fauves were exhibiting their paintings. Surprised by the contrast with a typical renaissance sculpture that stood in the centre of this room, he exclaimed with irony, “Donatello au mileau des fauves!( Donatello in the middle of the wild beasts! ). The name stuck.

Quote from artyfactory.com

This has been my journey into Fauvism so far…  There are many thoughts on Fauvism and plenty of info available.  Please research further yourself to confirm your thoughts and ideas.

The End 🙂

(PS I hope you may find this of help to you).

17 thoughts on “Oil Pastels – Fauvism

  1. Robyn
    Love all that colour and love how the colours interact. I can see how one could be swayed to step outside the circle. You triptych is inspiring


  2. Thank you for the information about Fauvism – I must say that they aren’t always my favorite artists also. But taking a step out of the box, it is interesting to see how our opinions can change. Wild beasts they were – doing the unconventional during their time. Kind of like the fabrics of today – Kaffe Fassett comes to mind with Amy Butler and Kate Spain. I am learning to appreciate the artist and not necessarily my first impressions.

    I like your work – it is fun to take this journey with you!


  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences of Fauvism, I found your post really interesting and informative. I love your triptych, the colours are so intense and really “sing” to me. I have a love of the brights and as Sweet Pea mentioned, I too thought of Kaffe Fassett.
    Are you still studying a formal Fine Arts course or taking individual classes?


  4. Robyn, this post was a fascinating peek into an art form I’d never studied. I would have chosen the same final images for your beautiful tryptich! I really like the results.


    1. Thanks Bonnie, so glad you enjoyed the topic and my subject matter.
      I thoroughly enjoyed this art form and brief after my initial reaction.
      It also firmly ‘planted’ my love of colour and its use in my work.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂


  5. I love everyone of the paintings Robyn! Each beautiful in it’s own special way. You are amazing! I was just reading about Fauvism as Henri Matisse is in our Art Goes to School portfolio this year and I will be presenting him tomorrow. Your post is a great reference for me to use when explaining his work to the kids. THANK YOU!


    1. Robyn I’m so pleased this post will be of benefit to you!!
      It’s such an interesting subject. They were certainly not conformists in any way 😉
      My first reaction to fauvism was ‘oh yuk’… but… I loved doing this and interestingly that love of colour has carried over into my art practice 😀


  6. I very much enjoyed reading this post! I don’t know much of anything about Fauvism, and now I must go do some research — I love bright colours. I like your idea of copying their works to learn more about them, something I should try sometime. Your own work turned out beautifully — I really like the triptych.


    1. Hello Karen! Im glad you enjoyed this post. I think its an interesting subject and definitely worth researching. So much variation and plenty to learn. I too love colours and love to experiment with heightened colour and fauvism now and then. Enjoy and thanks heaps for your comment 😀


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