Monday, 25 June 2012

Where to Find Ideas for Abstract Art

Looking for abstract ideas for painting may help create new ideas for art previously unthought-of. Even the most mundane objects can be made into abstract art forms if viewed under certain conditions. Patterns in nature and close-up studies often bear little relation to the subject matter from which it was derived. But how can such abstract forms be made into art?

Where to Find Creative Ideas for Art in Abstract Forms

Ideas for Abstract Art
Rachel Shirley
Abstract art, non-representational or non-figurative art basically encompasses art that explores line and colour for its own sake. This might be to represent emotions or colour exploration.

The beginner may be encouraged to look for interesting abstract shapes by looking at things in particular ways. The first thing to do is never discount anything, no matter how little it may first offer. Try the following techniques whilst looking for fresh ideas for art studies:

Look for any contour or shape that repeats itself within a view, such as shadows, clouds or contours of a building. Examples of repeating or echoing contours might be mackerel sky, a kissing gate, the upper branches of a tree or a suspension bridge. Notice how the repeating shapes shift slightly as it recedes or when viewed from different angles.

Finding Abstract Ideas for Art

Try looking at object close up. The texture of orange skin, satin cloth draped over a chair or eroded brickwork might spur ideas. You don’t need a magnifying glass to do this, simply enlarge an image or by partitioning off part of an image with a viewfinder and enlarging just that aspect. Objects viewed close up will take on new forms.

Surreal Ideas for Art

Try looking at the background as though the foreground. Seemingly insignificant objects or non-solid elements take on new meaning when viewed as a focal point. This might include shadows, mist or shifting hues within the sky. Treat the non-solid as though it were solid.  Don’t overlook background aspect in favour of the foreground/main subject matter.

Negative Shapes in Painting

Look for ‘negative shapes’ within a view and use them in a painting. Negative shapes are the shapes of the background as seen through foreground objects. A negative shape might be a section of sky seen through the window of an old tin mine, or a wall through a cup handle. Negative shapes can take on interesting or convoluted forms, ideal for abstract studies. Be sure to view the negative shape from different angles to find the most interesting view.

Conceptual Art from the Mundane

A wrought-iron park bench can look interesting under stark lighting conditions and if viewed close up. Discarded toys viewed from directly above may take on unfamiliar forms yet retain their bright colours. View objects through other objects such as glass, mirrors or water. Disparity between a distorted and non-distorted view will encourage the viewer to look at objects in new ways.

Reversal of Colours

Upload an image and reverse the colours. This can easily be done in Paint, a standard imaging programme that is usually found on most PCs. Just click on ‘image’ and then ‘invert colours.’ Zoom in on an image to find further ideas. Some images exhibit lots of contours in one particular area yet not much elsewhere, otherwise overlooked. An image featuring muted colours could suddenly appear dazzling.

Abstract Composition for Painting from Magazine Cuttings

Take a magazine image of interest and cut it into pieces. Shift the pieces about and see what happens. Interesting compositions will often present themselves previously unthought-of. The pieces may be completely shuffled about or each piece shifted slightly from their original positions; the latter could create the illusion of shattered glass. Again, the pieces could be cut into any shape and/or size. Of course, images of existing abstract art can be used, such as those by Miro or Kandinsky.

Ideas for Surreal Art

Ideas for abstract or surreal art can be found in everyday objects or images with a particular approach. Look for repeating patterns or accentuate a feature; view objects close up; make the background or non-solid elements the focal point of a painting; look for interesting negative shapes, or reverse the colours in a photograph. Play around with cut-up magazine images. Any feature that seems to bear significance can be used as the subject matter for non-figurative art.

Further Articles on Abstract Art

Paint your first abstract
How to make colours advance and recede
Should I insure my paintings?
Build confidence in painting

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