How To Create Abstract Art

So what is abstract art and how do you paint an abstract piece ?

This is a definition from the Tate ;

" Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect"

From an early age I have had an interest in abstract art.

I loved the vibrant colours, the shapes and the textures created so when I re found my love of painting I wanted to create my own abstracts.

Easy then I thought, lets set up and get painting ! But wait is it that easy ?

Where do you start ?

Surely you just throw some paint on a canvas and move it around or make shapes I heard people say. !

This is probably one of my first attempts on canvas and after a few other experiments I came to realise that this was not an easy style of art..

I soon realised that some research was needed and it turns out my left brain is trying to take control and make the painting "look" like something..

How then does an artist "let go" and create that striking abstraction..

Creating art is therapeutic, relaxing but I was getting stressed, trying too hard to find that place where I could create abstraction.

The start of my journey forward with this style turned out to be playing music, chilled out or meditative music worked really well for me while I painted. I highly recommend trying this. Sometimes it’s good to just close your eyes, breathe deeply and let the music wash over you before you begin to paint.

Early experimenting also taught me that I needed to try things other than brushes to achieve the sort of effects that I loved. There are some amazing artists tips on YouTube and I became a student, watching and learning and discovering new techniques. I built up a collection of items to use to create different effects. Some things I have used include a rolling pin, credit cards, tooth brushes, let me know what you have used!

I can honestly say that when I set up to paint an abstract now I don't have an idea of how it will end up (unless it is a bespoke commission piece based on something I have previously created).

I generally have a set of colours in mind, usually 3 or 4 and I set them out beside me.

Along side the paint I have folded pieces of card in various sizes, palette knives and a couple of large brushes.

My current group of paintings usually begin with splodges of the various colours I am using along the edge of the canvas. I then use folded card to drag the paint across the canvas. I may apply more paint on the opposite edge depending on how I like the effect I am getting.

My next stage is to drag the card vertically up and down the work. The painting you see here was created using this technique. The background was created with a dry brush sweeping across just grabbing a hint of colour from the middle and working outwards.

When I tire of the cardboard I use palette knives to create more paint layers until I like the effect..

The next issue for me is when is a painting finished ?

I like to place my art where I see it all the time in my home, that way I can see it in different lights.

After a few days I either get ideas of what else needs adding or I am happy with how it looks and I leave well alone and its time to think about the next piece !

This is really just the start of my abstract journey, as I progress I look forward to sharing more with you.

I hope it has been of help in some small way.

I'd love to hear how your journey evolves so please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you.

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