Abstracts, Are There Rules?

I’ve got a pet peeve about abstracts! Abstracts are not just a feeling or paint thrown on a canvas. Some of you may disagree with me, but I’ve gotta tell you what I believe. Are there rules? Of course there are!

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am a believer in the foundations of good painting and abstracts are no exception. I very seldom have painted abstracts, but I do love a good one and own a couple.  An abstract or any painting for that matter, to be successful has the same rules for composition as a realistic painting. To lead a viewer into a painting, you still need the same tools.

  • Contrast and values
  • Color, saturated and unsaturated
  • Edges, soft, hard and in between
  • Shapes, variety in sizes and shapes
  • Detail vs looseness (it’s all relative)
  • Activity, active vs passive
  • Paint application, variety

All of these concepts can be applied to abstracts. All artists study the same concepts whether you are an abstract painter, realistic painter or a sculptor.

My next post will be on Friday when I post my first painting for Project 125. I’ll be talking/blogging to you from Yosemite. See you then.

BTW, the featured painting is a small section of one my paintings. I’ve had fun cropping and looking at the brushstrokes.


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