A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Abstract Painting
Start Creating Your Own Painting
So this article brings together a few of my previous ones into a practical use of those 'how to' guides and shows from start to finish how I create a particular abstract painting which is textured and uses acrylic paint.
The painting is one in a series that I am currently creating for sale in Dubai and I will be continuing with this series in London and the UK too.
Please note that copyright of this painting remains with myself. The information I give here can be used for the following:
- you can try to create a copy if it is for your own personal use and will not be sold on or given on for monetary or other gain (i.e you are using it as a practice exercise)
- to create a painting that uses a similar technique but where the finished painting does not resemble my own artwork.
Step 1 - Texturing the Canvas
The first step was to mix up some texture to apply to the canvas - I make my own texture and you can find the details in my 'make your own texture' article.
I applied this with a cake slice all over the canvas and made various marks and scrapings into the wet texture to provide some interest. In doing this I used the 'rule of thirds' and the golden mean to decide where the focal points of the painting would be to get a good composition.
Once I was happy with the texture that I applied I then left that to dry overnight.
Step 2 - First Coats of Acrylic Paint
Once the texture is dry, I applied a coat of slightly watered down white paint all over the canvas so that all the texture and the cracks in it were covered by the white paint. This is just to give a good base to work with and means that the whole canvas is now covered in paint so you don't have to worry if subsequent coats don't cover everything.
Once the white paint was dry, I decided I wanted some highlights of other colours so I applied purple and yellow to some scraped out areas.
Next I applied a coat of very watered down prussian blue acrylic paint to the whole canvas. Prussian blue is a very dark blue and one of my favourite acrylic colours. I made sure that the paint (although it was more like dark blue water) got into all the cracks that I had created with the texture.
Applying More Acrylic Paint
So I tend to use a lot of paint in my abstract acrylic art and this painting was no different. I applied a number of different coats of paint of different thicknesses - whether that be directly from the tube or watered down or else with a dry brush technique - there is a list of how to apply acrylic paint in one of my other articles.
For this painting I used a number of different colours including permanent green middle and light, process cyan, prussian blue as well as metallic blue and green (beautiful colours!). The paints I use are artists quality and usually either Winsor and Newton Galeria acrylic paints or else Daler Rowney System 3 paints - it just depends on what I can get hold of in which colours.
In some of the coats of acrylic paint I would apply the paint, let it dry for a short while (30 seconds say) and then wipe some of the paint off with a wet household sponge (see picture). This takes the paint back to the previous colour you have used. On other coats I used dry brushing to just apply small amounts of paint to the top of the texture. make sure you have virtually no paint on your brush though!
Near the end of the painting I applied some gold powder onto the tops of the texture and I also rubbed it into the cracks of some of the other texture. You can also get a similar effect by dry-brushing gold or silver paint on top of the other layers.
Once all the painting is complete and I am happy with the finished effect I paint the canvas sides with 2 coats of paint using a sponge. in this case I used a mix of blue and green.
Finishing the Painting
To finish the painting I use a coat of a very heavy gloss varnish to really bring out the colours. The varnish I use - although it says clear gloss - actually has a yellow tinge to it so should not be used for anything with white in, but it gives a nice warmth to other paintings.
The Finished Painting - 'Underworld'
Another Abstract Painting
- Painting Texture - Creating a Textured Abstract Painting - Painting Texture
Here is another detailed explanation of how to create an abstract painting with texture. This also has a complete video to go with it.
More by this Author
If you want some texture under your paintings then you can buy texture in the shops or you can make your own. Find out instructions how and the materials you need.
This is my technique that I have made up for creating abstract paintings with watered down acrylic paint. I have sold quite a few paintings created with this method.