Painting Abstracts – Exercise 1

Recently I shared my first attempt at painting and it inspired me to learn more about abstract painting. So I grabbed my copy of Painting Abstracts by Rolina van Vilet and decided to start going through the exercises.

Abstract Painting Exercise 1

I had already read through the first set of introductions, which provided an overview of abstract painting. The first exercise was intended to introduce expressive shapes and to just get used to putting paint on canvas/paper. I picked 5 different colors and 5 different palette knives (cheap plastic pack from Michaels,  but they worked).

The main goal was to start going through the exercises because I kept putting it off for a variety of reasons. I was super excited to have finally started going through these exercises.

It was interesting to see how the paint went on the paper with the different knives – some were more flexible, some were rounded, etc. Each provided a different texture in the paint. I wish I had taken notes on which knives I used and will remember to do that next time.

While I was doing this exercise, the paint was smearing together in areas and kinda looking messy. It reminded me of talking to my 3-year-old niece last December while she was painting some ornaments. She was using red and green which were quickly blending into only brown on the ornaments. She looked up and said something to the effect of “It’s not messy, it’s beautiful.” So during this exercise I kept thinking to myself, “It’s not messy, it’s beautiful!”

When it was done, I have to say I was happy with it, which is really all that matters. The texture was interesting and I liked the colors together.

One of the great things about this exercise was that it took 30 minutes total (okay, not counting the 20 minutes that it took to find the book that was right where I had put it in order to find it easily). In addition to learning more about how acrylic paint works with different palette knives and some basics about abstract painting, I learned that these exercises are something that can be done in a short amount of time. This is great for evenings when there is a short amount of time that can be spent on creative endeavors.

I’m finding that I really enjoy painting and am looking forward to completing more of these lessons.

Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques

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