Wednesday, 16 March 2016 08:01

Abstract Art and You

Geoff de Groen • October 29 2014, 2014


When it comes to abstract art, it can be helpful to determine what exactly you mean by that term. Do you mean non-representational painting, which is art that does not try to reference reality at all? Or do you mean abstract art which references reality but in a flattened, emotional or highly subjective way?
 
Essentially, all representational paintings are abstracted, because artists are doing their best to reproduce a three-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional plane. So even the works by a Northern Renaissance artist like Jan van Eyck can be considered abstract in the same theoretical context as the works by a modern master like Paul Gauguin – both are depicted subjective versions of a visual reality. Works by contemporary artists such as Idris Murphy and Geoff de Groen are even more abstracted to the point of non-representation, but certainly hint at the figurative forms and organic shapes found in the natural world.

 

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.

 

 
 
 
Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Blending Atelier Interactive

In this how-to painting video, artists can learn blending and glazing tips and the differences between mediums such as Atelier Clear Painting Medium, Acrylic Glazing Liquid, Slow Medium and Thick Slow Mediums. Learn how to blend and work wet-in-wet using Atelier Interactive Acrylics, a water sprayer and the Unlocking Formula.

Published in Artist Blog

At the 2013 Australian Art Expo in Sydney, leading artist Barry McCann shows off the power of Atelier Fast Medium/Fixer as the risk-free way to paint with acrylic paints by keeping the finished parts of the painting sealed from harm.

Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Using Atelier Interactive with Mitch Waite

In this video, learn how Mitch Waite uses Atelier Interactive acrylics to paint a landscape with a great compositional framework. Atelier Interactive is the only acrylic paint that lets artists over paint dry layers and blend colors for slow, wet-in-wet effects!

Published in Artist Blog

Here is an excerpt from a video taken of Barry and Lucy McCann demonstrating at the Art Scene winter school at the Stuart University in Bathurst during July 2013. Barry is demonstrating the virtues of Atelier Interactive and both Barry and Lucy make some interesting comments.

Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

3 Zones of Atelier Interactive

In this painting video, Chroma's Resident Artist Jennifer VonStein illustrates the 3 Zones of Atelier Interactive Professional Artists' Acrylics. These methods use Fast Drying Techniques for over painting, Controlled Drying Techniques for blending, and Slow Drying Techniques for extended wet-in-wet painting.

Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Image Transfers

Image transfers made easy using photocopies and Atelier Binder Medium. Learn how to do this fun and easy painting technique that can be used for any mixed media, collage or Atelier Interactive or acrylic painting.

Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Glazing Techniques with Atelier Interactive

Glazing is a painting technique in which you apply a thin, transparent layer of paint on top of a dry layer resulting in a new or enhanced color. Instead of physically mixing colors together, such as blue and yellow to make green, you apply a transparent blue layer on top of the yellow paint layer to get green. What results is a stained glass, luminous effect - glazing provides a method of toning and enriching colors like no other.

Atelier Interactive presents some unique opportunities and challenges for artists when glazing or layering. Just about any Atelier medium that dries clear or translucent can be used for glazing, but the different viscosities and dry times produce different results. There are two ways to glaze and layer with Atelier Interactive - fast or slow -- and this is a personal choice that artists make.

Published in Artist Blog

Graeme Stevenson from the Australian TV show Put Some Colour In Your Life demonstrates Atelier Interactive Artists' Acrylics.

Published in Artist Blog
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Basics of Varnishing

Varnishing . . . Why? What? When? How? What's the difference between water-based varnishes and solvent-based varnishes? Why should I cover my painting with an isolation coat? What's the difference between matte, satin and gloss varnishes?

For answers to these questions and others, please view Chroma's NEW Basics of Varnishing - Part 1 video featuring Chroma's Resident Artist, Jennifer VonStein! Learn how to successfully varnish any acrylic or oil painting.

This is the second video in the Basics of Varnishing series featuring Chroma's Resident Artist, Jennifer VonStein. Watch as she highlights key points of solvent-based varnishes and demonstrates how to seal your acrylic and oil paintings.

Published in Artist Blog
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