Abstract Acrylic

My first purely acrylic painting, and so far, I like! Got a set of Liquitex Basics after hearing a rave review from Lisa at Lachri Fine Art. She does beautiful work, and her review and product comparison was one of the reasons I chose the Polychromos colored pencils (which I adore), so I thought it was worth taking a chance and seeing what those little bottles could do.

I started with very watered down acrylic craft paints I had from many moons ago. This initial layer gave me the feeling of a watercolor background, and was lots of fun to do.

Then the other night, I went back in with a palette knife only and three colors from the Basics set: Phthalo Blue, Cad Yellow Medium and Titanium White. I know abstract work isn’t everyone’s bag, but I’m really enjoying it.Β Β  It’s a wonderful way to be expressive, to learn a new medium, and to really have fun playing with color. SO many wonderful colors in that set! Based on my (limited) experience, two thumbs up so far.

022416 2

I hope you have a wonderful week. I think I can smell Friday. It’s rich and warm and chocolate. πŸ™‚ Peace.

99 thoughts on “Abstract Acrylic

  1. Really nice. I love the contrast of the pale background with the boldness of the thick textured paint. I could see many things in this. I’m definitely getting an architectural feel but I’m not sure if that’s your painting style or my thinking style πŸ™‚

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    1. Your architectural stuff is amazing – that must be why you’re seeing buildings! Thanks, Nicola, so glad you enjoyed this. I’m finding myself drawn more and more to abstracts, as much as I enjoy representational work. I was thinking about a cruciform composition…..going through some “stuff” recently, been praying a lot – and really been drawn again and again to the cruciform, which is how this painting developed. Thanks again for your encouragement!

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  2. ‘smiling’…. just won’t cut it; how about, OH My GOSH!! That is SO Awesome Laura!!! love the colors, the palette knife, and design.
    And you know what YOU did?
    you stopped, before the tonal values turned to mush! those tones, light mid and dark ….. POP and Sing! do a Dance Laura! πŸ™‚

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  3. O……… M……………G………… SWOONING over this one you abstractanista! YOU ROCKED IT! I absolutely adore it! Seriously gasped when I saw it. It is not your usual – a true departure – and yet – like a PRO! BRAVISIMO!!!!!!! Woohoo! Rock on with the abstract!!!! (PS Curious about the size – how big is it?)

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    1. Yay, I made Jodi SWOON! πŸ˜€ *swoons myself* *revives* *barks* lol

      Pretty much everything I do is in my Strathmore mixed media journal, and almost always it’s the 8 x 5″ (or something close to that) size I reach for. I think I really lucked out with this one. I’d done the background Friday night and then several nights later, added the second layer. Had no idea how it would turn out, and was really happy with it. So glad you liked it so much, Jodi! I’d really like to do more with acrylics (and never thought I would ever say that)! ❀

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    1. Thanks so much, Charlie! It was so much fun slathering the paint on with a knife. I’ve decided to really branch out and try more acrylic work. Something I’ve never really been drawn to before, but I figure it’s worth a try, see where it leads. So far, really loving it. So glad that you’re so enthusiastic about this. I’ve been really very pleasantly surprised by the feedback I’m getting on this! Again, thanks!

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    1. I hope you start painting again (although, not if you’re going to collage less lol)…..it was so much fun, slathering and dragging the paint. Really, just a fun color play, but I had read a (library) book when Penny was sick about abstracts (the woman worked in pastels, and I am going to find her name and that title if it kills me, as I’d like to reread it)….she explained about how she composes her work, and I tried to absorb as much as I could. Now, I’d really like to revisit. Her stuff is stunningly beautiful. I believe it’d convert any representational artist to at least try abstracts. I’ll keep going, for sure! ❀

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      1. I really need less chaos in my life to paint a lot. Things are always changing, so who knows what the future will bring?
        In the meantime, looking forward to your explorations! And thanks for the book info.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tori! I’ve always loved blue and yellow, and I knew from their names that they would be bold and make a statement, so I just went with it. Thanks so much for your feedback! I’ve been blown away by everyone’s generous encouragement this morning!

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        1. Thank you! I quilted for many years, and I do think this was helpful. I have an abstract blue and yellow quilt on my kitchen wall – maybe I should post it here. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Tori! You know I’m a huge fan of yours, so I’m sitting up and taking notice. Soaking up your words like a little sponge. Thanks for brightening a cloudy day. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! I’m kinda wishing it wasn’t in a spiral-bound book, lol. I may need to start doing these on watercolor paper or something loose. I don’t really want to sink lots of money into more art supplies, canvases, etc…….we all know what a slippery slope that can be! Really glad you like this! I’ve been really amazed at the feedback. ❀

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        1. I could, but it’s my journal, I make sure I cover at least one page a day – I go through one of those Visual MM journals each month. So there’s stuff on the back of each page also. I never know how something will turn out! Certainly didn’t have very high hopes for my first acrylic, it was pretty much a trial run. I have to say, I like the fact that if you make a mistake in acrylics, you can cover it up! Something I’ve never had the luxury of in WC. Yeah, may need to take the abstracts to a totally different book. Thanks, Teresa, for your encouragement (as always).

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  4. WOWZA! Laura!! This is FABULOUS! You have a nice balance to your abstract and a sense of mystery that has my eyeballs happily traveling around your piece. Great colors too! πŸŽ¨πŸŒŸπŸ˜„ You go girl! πŸ’™

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    1. Yay, Jill! πŸ˜€ Your WOWZA comments always make my day, my friend! I was dying to see what you’d think of this! This is the painting I was telling you about where I watered down the acrylic paint a lot – that was the first layer. It really did feel like watercolor paint to me, so it felt familiar I guess. So glad you liked it! πŸ˜€ *dancing*

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  5. These are wonderful! Both of them. I would be careful with watering down acrylics, though, unless you’re ground is fairly absorbent (like unsiezed canvas or paper, or a good, chalky gesso). Watering down thins the polymer binder, and it may later have a tendency to peel free, especially if layered over other colors. But you can still have those wonderful watercolor like washes! Just use a glazing medium, or gels, or some combination at something more than 50-50 with water. I only mention this cause you said you were new to acrylics–please forgive me if you know all this and I’m just being a busybody!
    Your paintings are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the tips. I know nothing at all about acrylics. Would an acrylic retarder also work to thin it down? That’s what I happen to have already. (Trying to avoid buying more stuff if I can help it) My other question is what if the watered down paint is the underpainting, and it’s on mixed media (90 lb cotton) paper? I guess it’s safer to water it down in that case? Really appreciate the help and I’m so glad you like this!

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  6. I would think the underpainting on good cotton paper would be ok–as the pigments would be taken up by the fibers of the paper, like watercolor–which doesn’t need the gum Arabic binder once it’s laid down. With the web–it’s so much easier to pick up technical information when get started on a new medium or process. Here’s on link that says pretty much what I did in my comment. If you’ve tried using an all water thinned glaze over other colors, like you would do with oils thinned with linseed oil and turp–you’ll see right away what happens–the pigments come apart rather than covering in a smooth clear glaze.
    Dr. Google has an answer for nearly everything!
    http://lezleydavidson.com/art-aa-how-to-paint-acrylics-really-thin-and-still-stick-to-your-canvas/

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  7. Oh, what that linked article says about flow aid! If you want to make fine lines, like with a liner brush, even the liquid acrylics don’t flow off the brush like watercolor or ink. A few drops of the flow aid makes a huge difference! And cause you don’t use more than a few drops–it lasts a long time. Good for the budget. The medium goes a long way, too.

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  8. This abstract is totally amazing Laura, one of your best pieces! From the depth, to the design and work with the knife – it’s a piece with a lot of energy and personality. Very nice color choices. Lisa is a fantastic artist and teacher!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I hope it isn’t beginner’s luck, as I didn’t think all that much about it. Although I do think more and more, choices are being made instinctively, to some extent. I was thinking about you today, because I know you’ve tried many mediums too. I just can’t seem to settle down to one. I’m like a kid in a toy store; I wanna try them all!

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      1. I would have written more but I was on my phone and so I conserve my typing as I am so slow at it and don’t plan to get any better, but still. Anyway, I really like this direction. As someone else said, you knew when to stop and not to muddy things up and so on. I think that’s very hard. Seems to me it’s all about balance, in doing abstracts, and in following the lead of what you have already put down on the paper, rather than working to some outside idea. I hope to see more of this!

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  9. Another ‘wow’ for your well-deserved collection! These are truly brilliant, Laura – they’ve totally woken me up; last time it was the cat you did it to, this time it’s me! You’re on a roll πŸ˜‰ I see something graphic-architectural in there somewhere – a real treat to look at!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jacob! Wow, I’m so blown away by the gracious feedback I’ve had all day on this painting. I’m really stunned and so pleased; you can’t imagine! You know that “fly around the room” feeling? It’s been so cool. So glad to hear that this painting brought you to life, although who knows, maybe another bird at some point here soonish may get your cat to take notice once again. (Loved that when you mentioned it!) Have a great night, my friend πŸ˜€!

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      1. Ha ha, I’m hysterical when a post gets a handful of nice comments; I don’t think I’d be able to handle the amount you’re getting! And indeed, anything that keeps Oscar occupied (or rather, out of trouble) would be very much appreciated! He’s nearly eighteen but still a mighty handful!!!

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  10. WOW! I really like both of these! The color palette, the shapes, patterns, the negative space all work for me. I’m not really into abstracts but these I really l like. I’ve been looking at them for minutes before commenting. I don’t know how to put into words what I like about them, but I like them!

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    1. Thanks, Deborah! I’m glad that you do! I’ve been really surprised at the encouraging words so many have given me on this painting. Really blowing me away. Abstract work is really an exploration of what’s inside of me and maybe that’s why I’m drawn to it? Not sure, but I love to play with color and it suits me at this point.

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  11. WOW!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜„ Laura, I guess you found your medium! This looks absolutely stunning! And youΒ΄re so good at abstract painting, which isnΒ΄t as easy as one would think. Great job, this is really amazing! πŸ’–

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    1. Thanks, Ann! So glad you like! I really don’t think acrylic is my medium, can’t imagine painting anything realistic with it. I’d think that would be extremely hard to do! But I do like the fact that you can cover up things in acrylic. Much better than WC in that sense. So glad you like!

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      1. Oh, you donΒ΄t have to paint anything realistic. Just keep on with these abstracts, they look gorgeous in acrylics. I think painting abstract is as much art as painting realistic, for me itΒ΄s even harder. But itΒ΄s a matter of taste, of course. And it depends on what you love to do. Anyway, this here looks like a piece of real art, thatΒ΄s what counts. 😊 Wishing you a wonderful day! πŸ’–πŸŒž

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  12. Two thumbs and two big toes up! πŸ˜‰ T minus, 3, 2, 1….. I immediately saw one of our U.S. rockets launching at Cape Canaveral! Good gracious, am I crazy? How’d I come up with that? lol My son is a rocket scientist so I’ve lived with rockets & anything space for 20 years. πŸ™‚

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  13. I love it Laura-I am a big fan of abstracts! The colors, line and textures have such exuberance, so I hope you continue to experiment as I think you are onto another great avenue of expression. Oh and, Hubble says do an abstract of Jack Henry-he would be easy because he is already a mess πŸ˜‰

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  14. We all are cluttered wth too much precise images, Abstract art enables the viewer to perceive beyond the tangible, and experience the workings of color, line, and form. It can lift you to a higher form. And as my eyes travel over your painting, the visual components bounce off each other and harmonize an energy of motion. Laura I very much like your painting. Art worth framing.

    Connie

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      1. all visual art is abstract. What a viewer brings to the work.. planted as iconograpy, or free associations, belongs to literature, to semiotics, to language… the stuff you talk about when you stop looking. All of that.. the stuff you talk about and think about.. when you stop looking. The visual art is in the visions… in the looking and receiving beyond and beneath word-language. A visual artist–even if they do so so-called representational work, works on a level beneath and apart from word-language. If all that’s left of a work when you see it.. is words. It’s not visual art. It’s something else.

        Solidarity/Love/Imagination/RESISTANCE!

        http://www.jacobrussell smagicnames.com

        On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 10:08 PM, Create art everyday wrote:

        > Laura (Createarteveryday) commented: “Wow Connie, thank you! I really > enjoy abstracts in acrylic and looking forward to sharing more. One is > coming up tomorrow in fact. It’s still a whole new world and so much to > learn but it does feel like a vacation while I’m working on one. :))” >

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