But let’s be honest: not everyone will take the term “abstract art” that far. Instead, what many artists, and viewers, consider abstract art is this personal consideration and interpretation of life, of emotion, of ideas, or even nothing at all. If you are more of a representational artist, but are looking for more abstraction in your work, where do you begin?
Here are four abstract art ideas to get you started:
Flatten the space: Instead of going for full on, three-dimensional modeling, flatten by using broad areas of color. Teachers have said it 1000 times in the past, and will say it 1000 more times in the future: paint the shape, not the thing.
Consider your colors: Paul Gauguin said, “If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.” To take it further, don’t even try to paint the tree, just paint the blue. Use a glazing medium such as Atelier Universal Medium to make transparent and semitransparent glazes to build up subtle passages. Make a painting that’s about color and nothing more.
Go big: Use big brushes or painting knives, big surfaces, and go for an extreme close up view of your subject if you simply cannot let go of visual representation. Instead of painting the entire landscape, just paint the sky or water or foliage pattern, nothing else, no matter how much you are tempted.
Add texture: Mediums like Atelier Heavy Gel and Atelier Moulding Paste can be used to build up visual interest on the surface, so your textured painting can be “about” the paint and the texture itself. Experiment with these mediums under paint, on top of paint or mixed with Atelier Interactive or Atelier Free Flow for dramatic, visceral effects.
Remember, a painting doesn’t need to have a focal point, a narrative or even reason to be anything other than what it is – paint on a surface. This bottom line simplicity can have stunningly beautiful results, bringing order to chaos and vice versa. In this increasingly busy, stimulated and simulated world, it can be lovey to have a painting that is nothing more than about itself.