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How to paint an abstract picture with the acrylic paints, painting the city against the sunset

Hello!
Welcome to the abstract painting lesson. Today we are going to paint the dynamic bright abstract picture with the acrylic paints on two canvases – we will paint the diptych. We will paint using a considerable share of expression and imagination. We will use our imagination and inventiveness not only in order to create the interesting picture but to find the new unusual and successful tools for painting the picture.

I should say that initially I had no specific idea. It was born spontaneously in the process of painting the picture and searching for art painting ideas. By the way, during this search I managed to find several «new tools» for acrylic painting.
Thus the new tools were:
some kind of netting for the construction work (it is well seen in the video), a trowel with the toothing for tile laying and a masking tape.
So we need two canvases for our work. In my case the canvases are of the same size (50х70см). You need the following acrylic paints for our abstract art lesson:

  • Titanium Whit
  • Red Cochineal
  • Yellow Medium
  • Sap Green
  • Violet
  • Black
  • Bronze
  • also you will need
  • airbrush,
  • clean cloth,
  • flat paint brush,

and the abovementioned: notched trowel and construction netting (and other suitable materials)

abstract art lessons online

abstract art lessons online

As for the idea:
I knew that I would paint something abstract and after looking in the window I understood that the picture would be connected with autumn.
My composition is central if you look straight at both canvases. There is a circle in the center which represents the urban landscape.

Color score:
The red color is not chosen by chance: many people associate it with the bright autumn leaves and it also give the beautiful shade in combination with yellow, violet and white. The yellow in the center has become an excellent solution for painting the sunset – I mean the city against the setting sun. The yellow color, which smoothly turns into the orange and red, gives use the full image of the heavenly body setting behind the skyline and you feel the warmth and the real captivation with this wonderful time of the day. The purple and violet shades perfectly contrast with the hot yellow and red colors.  Also these mysterious colors are associated with the evening and night sky which hovers the city after the sunset.

Let`s start painting our abstract picture:

Since we are going to paint diptych, we will need to paint on two canvases at the same time in order to see the whole picture.
The canvases can be placed on the floor or the table or fixed on the easel. I placed the canvases on the table – it is quite convenient.
Before painting the picture with acrylics, it is common practice to moisture the canvas with water. But this time I decided to break the rules and I painted on the dry canvas.
I think it is better to start working on the abstract painting with a big flat paint brush. The bold sweeping movements help overcome the fear of «what if it goes wrong?», acquire the taste and finally paint something quite interesting and beautiful.

Now let`s speak about the technical moments and usage of unusual tools.

1. The first unusual abstract painting technique originated in the working process was the water abundantly spattered in the center of the canvas over the layer of the applied paint (it is clearly shown in the video).
Actually, it is not a premeditated trick of an artist but a childish prank. I was distracted from the work for a few minutes and during that time my daughter had splattered the canvas with water from an airbrush.
I had to think what to do with it. I started to wipe the water with a dry clean cloth and saw that it was just an incredible technique! The gentle splashes and drops of water on the wet acrylic paint look like very beautiful light spots and it was especially great for my abstract landscape. The spots resembled the fleck of sunlight coming through the yellow leaves.

2. The second technique that should be described is applying the paint with the help of the netting. Here everything is easy. You can paint hundreds of windows of the multi-storey houses using the construction netting. Cut out a suitable piece of the netting, apply to the canvas, which is already pre-painted in the color you want, and apply the paint over the netting with the help of a palette knife (the paint should contrast with the background paint). Put a piece of the netting on the black silhouette of a house. And apply the yellow paint over it – these are the windows.

Essentially, the netting serves as the template. I would like to advise you to apply quite thick layer of paint, it gives very interesting effect and unusual beautiful structure.

3. At the next stage of our abstract art lesson online we will speak about the usage of the notched trowel as a palette knife. It is the technique of one British artist. The case is that using a notch trowel you can quickly and beautifully paint many parallel lines at the same time: either straight, wavy, spiral, broken lines or several vicious circles. It is a very effective technique. It dazzles either the artist during the working process or the audience which looks at the painting and wonders how this artist has managed to write so many identical lines.
Numerous parallel lines drawn with the help of a notched trowel give our composition the dynamics and the eurhythmy inherent in the life of a big city.

4. Using the crumpled cellophane for applying the pain. This technique is very simple. Crumple a small piece of cellophane tape (or paper), dip it into the paint of the necessary color and then apply the wide variety of prints, lines and dots on the canvas. Also the crumples cellophane is the perfect tool for painting the leaves on the trees and the bushes. One touch allows marking the whole crown of a tree or a large branch with lots of leaves and small twigs.

5. I used the masking tape only for experimentation purposes. This experiment happened to be quite successful and effective. This unusual artistic tool can act as a ruler and a barrier at the same time if you need to highlight the smooth clear segments on the canvas.
Also during the working process I used a «crown» palette knife (Роса №3). In this case this tool was quite ineffective. So we will omit it.

Working on the diptych I also used the brushes: I painted the trunks and the branches of the trees and make some improvements with the help of them.

At the end of the work I made several brush strokes with the green paint in order to emphasize the abundance of red in this composition as well as to show the green islands which delight the eye in golden autumn.

The final stage of our art painting lesson is painting in the side edges of the canvas. Try to follow the same color and texture as it is on the front of the canvas.
That is all.
Be creative and enjoy the work!
I wish all of you good luck and new success in your creative work!

  • There so many lessons one would learn from this site. Online art class is supposed to reach wide potential artists.