Are you one of those people who do realistic paintings, but who would like to do abstracts or at least add a touch of abstraction to their figurative paintings without knowing how to do it? You are not alone! Many people share with me that wishes either in person, through the blog or social networks. That’s why I present you today 7 ways to easily make it.

Painting pure abstract artworks without any reference to reality, especially if you’ve never done so, it’s an adventure that takes you out of your comfort zone. You do not know where to start or how to do it. This is quite understandable! However, if you use reality as a starting point for abstraction, it becomes much easier.

Ways to Make It

Here are some ways that use reality as a source of inspiration to create abstract artworks.

To make it easier, I used Corel Painter software to create the images for this blog post. I am well aware that they are not masterpieces, but I hope they will help you visualize all the potential there is in these few tips.

1. Extremely simplify your subject. Eliminate all the details and only look at shapes, lines and basic colors.

2. Choose a realistic subject (landscape, still life, portrait) and paint only a small part of it, so that it is impossible to determine its origin. Imagine watching your subject with a magnifying glass, a microscope or the zoom from your camera. Be interested only by a very small part of your subject.

3. Distort reality. Modify the size of certain parts or elements of your subject. Play with volumes, relative dimensions, lines. For example, a house could become larger than a mountain, a pear twisted, a straight road transformed to a zigzag.

4. Change the contrast. Increase or decrease the contrast level of all or part of your subject.

5. Change the colors. An apple can become a purple sphere; a fir tree, an orange conical shape.

6. Replace your small brushes by much larger tools which do not allow the same precision. You will have no choice but to eliminate details. Examples: a brayer, a sponge, an old credit or gift card, a silicone spatula, and so on…

7. Use software or app. Edit the photo of your choice with it. Play with color, contrasts, filters and get inspired by the result to create your painting.

Do not hesitate to use more than one trick at a time! The level of realism or abstraction that will appear in your works will depend on how much modification you bring to your original realistic source of inspiration.

When you will be comfortable with these little tricks and have gained confidence, it will be much easier for you to continue your adventure in abstract painting without any reference to reality or to explore all the variations between figurative painting and pure abstraction.

Have fun!

Thanks for your visit and see you soon,

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