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Introduction To Abstract Painting Techniques & Ideas For Beginners

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Step 2: Preparation Techniques For Starting An Abstract Painting


The first rule of painting any image is to draw a 1-2″ border around your painting space to allow room for a potential matte to frame your finished work. You can save yourself a lot of money by settling for a typical matte frame you can purchase at any arts and crafts store, so it is highly recommended that you use a ruler to measure your borders. One standard size to use is 11” x 14”, which is featured in this demonstration. When your border has been drawn, lightly sketch in the outlines of your composition onto the Arches watercolor paper.

Here, you can see that Steve draws the basic shapes of the bottle: the plunger, the spout, and the body, filling up the rightmost side of the canvas. He then pencils in the shapes the scissors create, with a few smaller details, and doesn’t hesitate to draw over the space occupied by the bottle. Combining shapes from two different objects is quite common in abstract art, so you can give it a try too. Next, Steve draws an oversized garlic bulb to serve as a background element. He also outlines the shadows on the garlic to implement depth and perspective along the lower left-hand side of the painting.

Below is a close-up of the sketch: