Lately, I have been doing a ton of painting using an acrylic abstract painting technique. In fact, a couple of buddies and I have six canvases going at once. Two months ago I didn’t even attempt to paint. But I was convinced by my friends to give it a go. There are many moments of realization when using this acrylic abstract painting technique, in a short period of time. Painting is one of the most rewarding forms of art, so I am glad that I gave it a chance.
This painting below isn’t close to finished, but it is getting closer as more detail is being filled in.
Acrylic Abstract Painting Technique Lessons I have Learned So Far
Anyone Can Do It
Anyone can paint. We all have creative ability. It’s just that most people do not have the confidence to paint, or they do not know any useful techniques. I thought before I started that, I was just an alright painter and that I could make some decently creative work. But after getting a little guidance on technique, I realized that you are only as creative as you allow yourself to be.
I have been doing mostly collaborations with my buddies. Some with just two of us, and then the other with all three. Our basic technique is to start off with random designs and then slowly get more and more descriptive. It seems obvious, but that is how you make it look spectacular. Usually, we start with acrylic paint directly on the canvas and get the whole surface covered in whatever design we want. All different colors. USUALLY. I won’t say always….because it is such a spontaneous art. Then after we get the canvas completely covered, we might take some smaller brushes and do some more designs with the acrylic, before moving onto the sharpies. Usually, black sharpies are the next order of business. And then get more descriptive with the paint pens, doing mostly outlining. I prefer Molotow paint pens as they seem to work the best. I use White and Black mostly, as those are the best colors for creating layers. Which is very important to give the painting contrast.
The reason that I say that anyone can paint after explaining a little bit of the process, is that what you are trying to create, is already there. You just have to go with the flow, and do whatever you are inspired by, to bring it out. Outlining is going to make it way more descriptive and start to bring out the objects within the painting. After outlining, you can also go in and make little designs to make it more descriptive. That’s the process of how to make masterpieces. Of course, I mean masterpiece in my own eyes. You should only be trying to impress yourself. Period. And enjoying the creative process.
Painting is mostly persistence. The last couple of canvases I have worked on we have put in almost 30 hours, and it is still is not done (Both above are not complete). As long as you are patient and persistent, you will take your paintings to another level. Talent will take it to an even higher level, but really if you are persistent, you will impress yourself.
During the art showcase in the city this past weekend, it was amazing how many people were mesmerized by the art we had displayed. It was mostly my two buddies pieces, but nearly everyone is like, how did you do that? After explaining the process, they still are in amazement. Explaining the process seems to help them get it mostly, but some still think it is unbelievable. We just tell them, when you have two or three different people working on the same piece, their are no limits to what you can create. Think about it. You are all focused on making it a masterpiece, and you are trying to be as detailed as possible. That’s a ton of positive energy going into a painting.
What I like the most about this style that we have been using, is that it is infinite. There is no way we could duplicate what we did. There is no way anyone else can duplicate what we did. There will never be another painting in the history of paintings like the two above. If we were to do a painting where we are actually creating objects or copying another picture, then there is a high possibility it will look similar to someone else’s. Another thing I like about this style is you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. If you make a mistake, it’s not like you can’t correct it. It’s just a random design that will eventually turn into something. And on normal paintings where you are trying to create something specific, if you make a mistake you can fix it. But it’s a lot easier to fix when you aren’t going for something specific. You are letting the painting create itself, so to speak.
I have touched on this already. But detail might be the most important part of taking it to another level. It doesn’t have to be a painting of something you recognize to be good, such as a person or an object. It can be a random design that doesn’t make any sense, as long as it is detailed. Examples of the details I am talking about are uneven lines, faded lines, and to much of one color. I feel like as long as you can manage the colors so they interact correctly, and straighten up the lines so they look pure of whatever color you are using, then you will be able to live with the final result.
Enjoy being creative
I was telling my friend that the best part about painting is, the fact that you feel like you are moving forward consistently. You are getting closer and closer to the end. With paintings, I am not sure if there is an objective end, but there is a subjective. And it feels good to know that you are moving forward towards that subjective end.
I realized that painting is exhausting! I have been putting in 5-8 hour days lately. It mentally will drain you more than a hard workout. It’s because the focus you need is tremendous. However, after you are done during that day, you feel fulfilled.
1 Look away from the painting every 20-30 minutes. For me personally, staring at a canvas for a long period of time straight, strains my eyes. So I think it is important if you are going to put in a long session, to make sure you can balance the strain you put on your eyes. Go outside and look long distance so your eyes don’t become near sighted only.
2 Be Spontaneous. Have you ever heard a good painter stressed after they were done painting? No, because there is no syllabus telling you what you have to paint. Create what you want. I recommend to use the general strategy that I laid out in the beginning of this piece. If I continue to paint more, I might dedicate a whole post to explain in detail what I mean.
3 Never question anything. Don’t question anything that you have put on your canvas. Because if you make a
mistake stroke that you don’t like afterwards, remember that it can be transformed into something spectacular later.
4 Keep going. Some of the worst paintings in your own opinion can turn into the best painting if you just keep on going. Sometimes the one that looks like the worst right now, will turn into the best later. You never know. But you can’t know what you have unless you follow through to the subjective end of your paintings.
Painting is addictive. If you get started painting and don’t stop for a while, be prepared to realize you just painted for the whole day! But it’s totally worth it. You will be rewarded by the creativity you put into every piece.
If you are interested in seeing more, check out my friend Scott Jelinek’s site Arcaneadventures.org.