Monday, 5 October 2015

Tips on Abstraction

Bit late in the day I know, but some of the following tips may help you to finish your Abstract pieces effectively:
·         Be bold and experimental with the range of materials available to you, ensure you utilise the range of mark making techniques these materials allow you to achieve. Techniques you might employ include:
  •      Card Chip painting.
  •      Brush painting, consider using larger 1" & 2" decorating brushes as well.
  •      Press printing shapes.
  •      Building texture with corrugated card, tissue paper, newsprint.
  •      Drips/runs of paint - works best if paint is mixed to a single cream consistency.
  •      Creating stencil shapes to paint through.
·         After using the still life as a starting point try to put all thought of representation out of your mind, and work within an entirely abstract context.
·    Be aware of the decision making processes that go into producing a successful abstract composition, good abstract work rarely happens entirely through accidental means (although accidents may well play a part).
·    Use colour imaginatively, to lead the viewer’s eye (creating visual links/rythm), to provide an illusion of depth, to create mood and atmosphere etc. This will probably require the creation of some tonally darker areas.
·    Work on your image from all sides. Rotate it, try working flat and at an easel for different effects.
·    Change the consistency of the paint and the speed you apply marks to change the character of the image you are making.
·         Use texture thoughtfully, large build ups of material can easily unbalance an image.
·         Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or making radical changes to your painting.
·         Taking material away (e.g. tearing layers back) can be just as effective as adding to an image constantly.
·         Continue to mix colours and avoid too many raw "straight from the tube" colours.

Until you have covered the surface of your painting work with energy and urgency to get to that stage. Then regard that as the starting point for revision and development of your image. Quite often the painting itself can help you make decisions and refinements: look at what you have, perhaps an area that is already darkish in tone would be more dramatic if it were made darker still, allowing it to fall away in space more convincingly.
Creating an abstract sense of space can be achieved through a variety of painterly techniques, combine these to create the most dramatic spatial effects:
  •    Temperature of Colour - cooler colours tend to recede in space, hot colours advance.
  •      Intensity of mark-making, busy areas tend to advance, flat colours recede.
  •      Overlapping shapes, our brain reads overlaid shapes as closer.
  •      Tone - darker tones can suggest shadows and depth and hence tend to recede.
  •      Scale of mark. e.g. a small white disc might appear more distant than a large version of the same shape.

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