Abstracts, Are There Rules?

Abstracts, Are There Rules?

Becky Joy

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.

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