Monday, 4 June 2012

Painting Abstracts - how to learn by doing

I have always been interested in abstracts, weel since I sold my first abstract painting. What is it about an abstract which interests people? I do not believe I know but they do sell. Have you considered this genre, many realistic painters find it difficult to create abstracts because they cannot let themselves go. Creating a painting based on composition rather than on a subject is difficult for many people, I had to lead a workshop on painting an abstract at my art group and came up with this methodology to allow and enable such a person ( a realistic painter) to start and complete a painting in an evening.

An example created by this method
acrylic on paper, approximate size A4 (11x8.5 inches)
  1. Get the surface covered. A background is easier said than done for some, but simply dont think about it. Just pick a colour! Put down a wash, add texture or patterns. Or draw and paint a grid. It doesn't have to be rectangular or even geometric. Think circles, distortion. But don't think too hard, just cover that surface covered. This is PRACTICE not a masterpiece.
  2. Now, throw in some shapes, lines, colours; just add a little interest. Think in compositional terms. Contrast / Unity / Size / direction / texture / etc. Again this is to allow you to paint an abstract no need to think about what it means or represents. Throw or drip, use a stick or your hand, but do something.
  3. Lastly look carefully and see what is needed to add a little pizazz. I know its not a masterpiece but not all paintings are! Just have fun, fun and more fun. You know about composition, the elements and the principles. If not now is the time to learn. Use this knowledge to make your painting interesting, and don't forget, it does not have to mean anything.
  4. You are finished! stand back and take a bow
  5. Now do another
  6. Using this method you can paint several at once, one of them will probably be good enough to frame.
OK, so you don't believe me and want more information. I have started to write a series of Squidoo lenses (= webpages) on this methodology. Try these for examples and more information.

More will be added in the near future. Just remember, this is not a recipe for a masterpiece but will give you permission to do something which is different and which will ultimately help to loosen your artwork in all genres.

A recent sale at my art groups March exhibition, Title: Yellow Landscape
A pastel painting, approximate size A4 (11x8.8 inches)

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