I don’t know if I’ve ever said these words “out loud” to you, but they deserve to be said, repeatedly and loudly. So here I am, virtually hollering at you across cyberspace: Experiment with abstract art!
I know we have talked about how thinking abstractly is a key to any successful painting, realistic or otherwise. But the point that shouldn’t be lost is that abstraction is a rewarding way to work in and of itself, as well as being a gateway to representational works.
I could fill sketchbooks full of abstract paintings and mixed media sketches combining charcoal and oil pastels or watercolor and graphite. These ways of painting call out to me in less formal ways and make me just want to play and move color and line across the page without any rules.
I don’t mean to say that all abstract art is visually successful, but I do think that all experiments with abstract art can teach you a lot about observing what you are doing and really seeing the work that you are creating for what it is. And when you work abstractly or mix media you are less likely to conform to outside expectations about what objects, figures, and landscapes should look like. At least that is how it is with me, and I find that mindset exhilarating.
So feel free to indulge in formless visions and ideas that don’t live so concretely in the “real” world. Paint, draw, and create without looking over yours shoulder or with preconceptions hemming you in. And if you are looking for a guide to help ease your way into abstraction, Abstract Overview is just the one–with crucial tips and techniques on how to make the best abstract art you can, with a variety of media. Enjoy!