What Materials And Techniques Did Egon Schiele Use?

Egon Schiele, an Austrian painter widely known as a protege and friend of Gustav Klimt, was one of the most famous painters of his time. He was born in 1890 and died at the young age of 28 in 1918.

Egon Schiele’s paintings had a unique feel, a distinct style that made his work instantly recognizable. Alongside Gustav Klimt, Schiele was notable for his paintings that depicted women in a state of nudity and the use of erotic themes.

This article will reveal the medium and techniques of Egon Schiele’s art. Read on to learn about the materials and style this excellent artist used to produce his incredible pieces.

Schiele’s Early Training

Egon Schiele rapidly established a mentor-mentee connection in 1907 after looking for Klimt, whose art he admired greatly. This friendship had a significant influence on the young artist’s early development. Klimt influenced Schiele not only in the studio but also through the introduction of patrons, models, and other artists’ work, including Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and Jan Toorop, about whom Schiele had little opportunity to learn despite being a devout art student at the time due to Vienna’s isolation from Europe’s avant-garde movements.

Schiele took part in his first ever exhibition in 1908 when he was eighteen. It was a group show at Klosterneuburg, a tiny town north of Vienna. The following year, Schiele and some other students protested the Academy’s traditional teaching strategies and refusal to accept more avant-garde artistic approaches that were becoming popular across Europe.

Schiele established the Neuekunstgruppe as a part of this uprising, which included other young, disgruntled painters who left the Academy. The new group wasted no time holding many open exhibitions throughout Vienna. Schiele was experimenting with new ways to express himself as a painter, favoring distorted and jagged form contours and a darker color palette than the more decorative and extravagant Art Nouveau style.

In essence, Schiele steadily separated himself from Klimt’s approach, even though the two men remained close until Klimt’s passing in early 1918. Nevertheless, the mentor and trainee seemed to share an insatiable thirst for women; the themes in Schiele’s art are evidence.

His Mature Period

In 1911, Schiele held his first solo exhibition at Vienna’s Galerie Miethke, where his growing propensity for self-portraiture and sexualized—often verging on lewd—studies of young ladies were on display. Schiele had begun to experience some measure of success as a painter and draughtsman shortly after establishing the Neuekunstgruppe.

The use of minors as nude models and the implicit eroticization of pubescent girls are other controversial aspects of Schiele’s early works, as seen in his 1911 painting Nude Girls Reclining, which features two pubescent girls who appear to have just finished an erotic session. In the same year, Schiele spent a brief period in Krumau, Southern Bohemia, the homeland of his mother, where the townspeople disapproved of his practice of inviting minor children to his workshop.

The following year greatly impacted Schiele’s personal and artistic development. In addition to participating in some group exhibitions in Budapest, Cologne, and Vienna, Schiele received an invitation from Galerie Hans Goltz in Munich to exhibit his work alongside other Expressionists from the Der Blaue Reiter group.

Schiele’s Style

Schiele’s art has drawn criticism for being hideous, pornographic, erotic, or frightening, focusing on sex, death, and discovery from critics like Jane Kallir. He concentrated on both his own and other people’s portraits. Even while he frequently worked with naked models in his latter years, his portrayals were more realistic. Schiele began drawing at a young age with “manic fluency.”

In The Spectator, critic Martin Gayford observed: “He [Schiele] found his particular style quite early.”.

That explains the tendencies in some of Egon Schiele paintings, including a half-disgusted obsession with sensuality and a similarly unsettling infatuation with staring at his nude body. Although it is difficult to tell for sure because the head is sometimes missing, the masculine figures generally appear to have been modeled by the artist.

What Materials Did Egon Schiele Use?

Different artists are often comfortable using different materials for their works. Painters, particularly, have various options that will enable them to create the kind of painting they want. At the very least, a painter would like to be comfortable using the medium they have selected to carry out the painting.

For Egon Schiele, he was able to employ the use of some materials to carry out his work. Schiele’s popularly used materials for his works include watercolor, paint (mainly oil-based), gouache, and graphite. Egon Schiele’s paintings were almost always done on paper.

There is a feeling that because Schiele did not mix his materials correctly and his choice to use mainly paper, many of his paintings could not be conserved. There is a common assertion that he used bad paper to execute his art, causing it to be challenging to preserve due to damage from the chemicals used. The paper could not survive for extended periods.

Schiele’s Technique And Legacy

Expressionist figurative painter Egon Schiele is described as such. He painted many portraits and produced full-body paintings with the subjects in strikingly different poses. Expressionist painters like Schiele were more interested in conveying a mood or atmosphere than in striving to produce something scientifically realistic. Schiele is renowned for his paintings that include twisted forms and bold, expressive lines.

You would assume, and it’s true, that Schiele’s portrait paintings are weird and distorted. Painting feelings or emotions was Schiele’s primary goal. How, in your opinion, does Schiele’s Self-Portrait with Raised Bare Shoulder depict anxiety or panic? To convey terror, he widened his eyes and unduly raised his eyebrows. The fast brush strokes produce a rough, textured surface and give the impression that they were done quickly.

Schiele frequently employed a constrained color pallet of muted tones to depict skin and flesh in his portrait paintings. However, he frequently used twisted shapes, jagged lines, and exaggerated facial characteristics. Additionally, he altered or changed the size and contour of the facial features while often maintaining their precise placement.


Through the mentorship and guidance of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele developed the unique painting style that has made him stand out and has received much acclaim even centuries after. The only downside to his works might be that he could be accused of using seemingly inferior materials, which has not allowed many of his works to be preserved for a longer time.

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