Saturday, 23 February 2013

How To Learn To Paint Abstracts - Free eBook

First of all, painting abstracts is about painting the feelings that are bought about by a subject, rather than painting the subject. You are not trying to represent the physical appearance of the subject. Therefore, you cannot get it wrong. Only you know how you feel about something, the painting is your way of describing these feelings to your audience.

Many artists however feel awkward about this. They have grown up believing that a painting is "of" something and should look like the original. This must be overcome to paint expressive abstract paintings.
 I would be the first to say that I still have problems with putting thoughts into abstract paintings but I will most stronly claim that by painting abstracts I have improved as a painter immensely. I have a very loose almost semi-abstract style and enjoy painting with colour. You can see what I mean by browsing a few of the earlier posts on this blog. I do find that fellow artists do find some, if not all, of my work pleasing and likeable. Not sure what this means but looseness is something that many artists seek. It works for me, and I find this style so much easier since beginning abstract painting.

When I was asked by my art group to run a workshop on abstract painting, I developed a methodology to enable them to try it out for themselves. I have written about this on Squidoo and you can read and see a step-by-step tutorial here:-


I have also collated these articles together into one, free eBook available on Scribd for download.

I will in the near future be completing a "game" utilising sets of cards to give the arrtist some basic starting points to help with creating abstracts . I shall be saying more of this later.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New Pastel Landscape Painting

I was so pleased with last weeks "Tree and Sky" painting that I found another similar photo to take a shot at. This time a sunset, or maybe a sunrise with loads of colour in the sky and trees sillouetted against the sky.

This has been slightly edited in photoshop to try to achieve the feeling of the original painting.

Do you have problems with photographing your art work. The light can affect the look at your work, as you may have found out and it is almost impossible to edit the piece to get back to the original colours. Vitally important if like me colour is an important aspect of your art. The original photograph had a much more insipid appearance, and I wanted to  nudge it in the direction of the original painting.

I always try to photograph the artwork in daylight and then to edit as little as possible. visit my photography blog, Photography For fun, to see a few examples of what happens or can happen, using this piece as an example.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Completed "tree and Sky", a pastel painting

I had to do something with it, the painting from last week. I simply wasn't happy with it. Apart from the issues I raised in the last post, the perspective for the clouds looked wrong. Although it was reasonably faithful to the original photo, every artist knows that the lower down in the sky a cloud is, the farther away it is and should be smaller to provide recession. Solution: remove the clouds!

I fixed the painting so that I would not get any mixing of the pastels when I applied further colours, etc and went back in with a lighter blue to remove the clouds. You can see traces of them but that does not worry me. I repainted the tree and its branches and this time added a lighter edge to the main trunks / branches. It was quite a dark brown buut of course against the black it showed up relatively light.

Next step was to emphasise the foliage at the bottom of the painting. I used an olive green (again it looks lighter than it was) and a smaller area of a dark hookers green (ish!) to paint in a textured undergrowth.

I am now very pleased with the result. Zazzle here I come!

It does not show up too well in the photograph (probably taken too early in the morning as I was in a hurry- and may try to get a better photo) but there is a very good 3-D effect between the foliage, the lower trunks and the general background.

This shows better in a photoshopped copy of the image:

Much happier now and I will be putting this onto Zazzle where prints / poster / cards of the image may be obtained; more details later in the week for those (if any?) who might be interested.