How do you even begin an abstract painting? A blank canvas can be intimidating at first. There are some things that I find helpful to keep in mind while starting an abstract piece. You can borrow colors or compositions from anything you find interesting to get yourself thinking. Don’t be afraid to start off by just putting one mark on the canvas, that can open up so many doors. Abstract painting is not something I find to be easy but it is so fun. I really get to see my brain at work creating something I’ve never even seen before. Sometimes realism can be frustrating for me because I can’t seem to match a color or an angle I see. Where as when I’m painting completely abstract I can go in any direction I want to make the painting work. I have been learning to continuously work on a few paintings at once. It’s good to go back and forth between them to keep your mind thinking of fresh ideas.
This week I was working on a few abstract paintings. One of them was an old oil painting from last semester I decided to work on. This painting is still abstract with some elements of a landscape. My original thoughts were nothing of a landscape until other students in my class mentioned it resembled one. I liked the idea of that so I stuck with it. It was interesting to go back into an oil painting that was actually dry, as I have never done that yet. So I might still play around with this one once it dries again.
The other painting is one that started off as completely figurative and ended up being abstract. It began as a basic still life of a stack of books in acrylic and I just honestly hated where it was going but I didn’t mind the composition.
So I tried pushing it further by playing with the composition I already had and making changes right over top of the painting. I began adding colors to create different dimensions or enhance other colors that remained in the original painting. I wish I had one more picture before I added the black on top so you could see some of the color decisions I made.
I let it go until the next day and then worked on it again. I tried making the black look more like part of the painting instead of a layer on top of another layer. I’m happy with how it turned out but I am still planning on going back into it. Don’t be afraid to add things to your paintings. There is a point where you should stop but if you continue to add or remove things from a painting you might just exceed your original expectations.
Sketch Book Drawing of the Week:
Almost every semester it has been required for me to keep a sketchbook that I draw in at least once a day. So I figured why not share one drawing a week on this blog page. Some drawings are just gestures or quick sketches/notes but some I end up putting a little more time into. Maybe this will even inspire you to keep a sketch book for yourself!