A successful abstract painting does not just happen. It takes work, revision and basic knowledge of drawing concepts. Picasso was a classically trained artist before he made the break to non-representational art. Because he knew the rules of perspective, balance, composition and color, he could bend and break the rules and create dynamic, appealing works of art. Flinging paint on a canvas may result in serendipitous pretty pictures, but that is a trial and error method. This is similar to taking hundreds of snapshots and culling them out to obtain a few good pictures. A student should rely on practice and education to achieve successful results in all his attempts, or at least learn from his less-than-stellar efforts.
Picasso was quoted as saying that there is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
This is true in most cases, although if an artist is portraying sounds, emotions or spirituality, there may be no visual starting place. For the purpose of this article, the student will be involved in re-creating objects in his own interpretation.
Balance And Direction
A painting must have proportion. It should balance in some way to give meaning to the viewer. It may be an uncomfortable equilibrium or a comfortable one, but it is exists.
The artist may choose to have pleasing balance that makes the viewer comfortable with the piece. He may just as easily prefer the piece to create tension with the viewer. In this case, the artist may elect to have the balance off enough to cause conflict for the observer. In either case, the composition was done with thought and premeditation.
The observer’s eye will follow a path across the painting. The artist controls this in the way he sets up the composition. The composition leads the viewer from one point to another in a conscientious way. This is direction, and can be accomplished in several ways. Color and brushstroke can move the course of the painting as well
Where To Find Abstract Inspiration
One way of finding inspiration for an abstract painting is to take an existing realistic picture or painting and reduce it to its most simplified geometric or natural shapes. Half close your eyes until you just see fuzzy basic shapes with no definition. A tree becomes a cylinder, a seated woman a pear shape, and so on. The student is using an existing composition, which is already prepared. By reducing the objects to shapes, he is translating the scene to a non-representational one. This is a good way to practice without the pressure of composing an entirely new design. Take that newly created...