How to Paint an Abstract in Acrylic

Acrylic Abstract Painting – Step by Step

Acrylic abstract painting with 
swirling shapes in red , orange and purple with touches of black and white
Red , Orange and Purple Composition

This is my latest acrylic abstract painting. I followed a suggestion online to play with these three colours plus black and white and , literally , just see what happened. I did find this brief quite inspiring – choosing the colours had already been done for me . So if I could ‘ let go ‘ , I thought it might be relaxing, as opposed to the hard thinking and research that goes into , for example , one of my Story Pictures.

A tribute to Hokusai's Great Wave set on a local reservoir in a traditional landscape painting
Great Wave on Worsbrough Reservoir

Anyway, I usually work in this ‘ portrait ‘ format and I didn’t realise how used I was to creating a rectangular composition until a friend of mine gave me some lovely square canvases. So , that was a challenge I set myself and this was the first version.

First version of Red , Orange and Purple,  with lots of white , showing the artistic process
Version Number One

I was pleased with the movement but I realised that the ‘white ‘ shapes were not working so – on to the next version.

A very busy,  complicated development of this restricted palette acrylic abstract 
I
Version 2

So next day, I worked on the painting some more and took away a lot of the white. But meanwhile , I had been far too busy and I had added so many ‘ interesting ‘ little sections . They were cute in their own way , but all together , it was too much and just confused the eye. So, they had to go – it was quite a painful experience to paint them out . I think this is why some artists find it difficult to judge when an abstract is finished . I certainly do . What do you think ? Is it finished ?

On the Wall

Well , that way of creating an intuitive abstract seems to me completely different to the way I put this next one together

Shocking Pink spiral shape on a royal blue background with accents of  bright green
The Spiral

Believe it or not , this composition came to me as a finished design in my imagination. This hardly ever happens for me – so it was just a question of trying to put it down on paper ( or canvas in this case )

Well, that’s enough waffling from me.

How do you paint your abstracts ?

6 Replies to “How to Paint an Abstract in Acrylic”

    1. Thanks so much for your support. It’s great to be able to chat to another artist. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your lovely work . I shall keep on creating- I have no choice, I am so driven !

  1. I have to do some sketches after I get the initial idea otherwise my painting will degenerate into mayhem. I can allow the sketches to fall apart so that when I come to do the piece I know where I can and cant go.

Let me know what you think !