How to Paint an Acrylic Abstract

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. So I thought that I would explain a little bit about how I created this. In effect , how to paint an acrylic abstract ! Firstly, 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.

Step by Step

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 . Really, 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 . In fact, 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 ?

A red, blue and purple painting hung on the garden wall - how to paint an acrylic abstract.
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. Actually, 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. I hope that I have shed a bit of light on how to paint an acrylic abstract . If you want to see more of my abstract paintings , have a look in my gallery here . And , don’t forget , all of my work is for sale at reasonable prices.

How do you paint your abstracts ?

Three Flower Paintings – a Triptych in Acrylic

Three Flower Paintings on Small Canvas – a Triptych

Three small canvases showing three flower paintings  - sunflower,  poppy and echinacea.
Three Flowers – a Triptych

What’s a triptych ? Basically , it’s a group of three paintings shown together and sharing aspects of subject matter , colour or style – or all three ! In fact , just like these three flower paintings. Originally, I think it described three paintings usually above or on the altar in churches. Actually , it’s a really popular way of presenting artwork at the moment in galleries . And some artists are very creative in the way the pieces are linked together .

Anyway , this is my version of a triptych disguised as floral art. In fact , I had to come up with something for an art group I belong to and I was a bit stuck. Then I remembered that I had decided to paint a series of flower paintings in acrylic on small canvases a while ago . However, life got in the way and I had only completed two, Sunflower and Oriental Poppy.

Sunflower
Oriental Poppy

So , I decided to paint one more – for the art group theme , a triptych of flowers. That is , three flower paintings. This is Cone Flowers.

A close up of ' Cone flowers ' , one of my three flower paintings . Red petals and green leaves.

Easy ! One triptych delivered .

Flowers from My Gallery

I must just mention that I have entered ‘Bluebells’ ( and two other paintings) for an open call for an exhibition. Luckily , Bluebells was accepted ( hurray ! ) .And to my delight, chosen for the publicity image – two reasons to be cheerful, I think !

A sea of  bluebells in a wood with the sunlight streaming through , a traditional landscape painting
Bluebells in Silkstone Woods

I must admit , I do love painting flowers. And , if you would like to see more , there’s loads more in my Gallery – ‘Still Life and Flowers’ here

Flowers and foliage in a vase - impressionist flower painting.
A Bunch from the Allotment

So, to finish up with, here’s my favourite – going to a new home when my solo exhibition finishes today ( the image at the bottom of the page )

Well, there are all kinds of floral art – on canvas, on paper , in vases , in a landscape , as a triptych or stand alone .And , I wonder which kind you like best ? Or , do you like them all , like me .

A tree in full creamy white blossom in the  Welsh hills , a springtime landscape painting.
Spring Blossom in Wales

Mythical Creatures – including Dragons !

Dragons , Monsters and Angels – a Ceramics Exhibition Review

William de Morgan plate in blue and white with Medieval dragon motif , one of the mythical creatures at Cannon  Hall
De Morgan dragon plate

We went a couple of times to our local stately home Cannon Hall quite recently to look at the “Mythical Creatures” display, taken from their famous ceramics collection.

The Blue Vase with Green Dragon
The Red Dragon

The Dragons – Mythical Creatures at Cannon Hall

It was really very impressive. And I felt quite inspired by the fascinating dragon vase and the plate upstairs in the gallery. In fact , they were produced by the famous Victorian designer William de Morgan . He married Evelyn , whose family lived in Cannon Hall. ( She was , of course a famous artist in her own right ). Actually , this particularly caught my eye as it was a medieval depiction of a dragon . As you can see , it looks like a huge worm or serpent, with no wings. So I painted my own version, first in watercolour [ see above] and then acrylic.

Acrylic painting of a green dragon with no wings surrounded by flames , in a mountain landscape one of the Mythical creatures at Cannon Hall
The Green Dragon

I modelled my acrylic painting on this style of imaginary beast – it still took me a while to figure out how to make the body look realistic without the wings.

Some Other Mythical Creatures

Pencil drawing of the head and shoulders of a ceramic statuette of the  Greek God Pan
Pan , the Greek God

I had a great time sketching the ceramic bust of the Greek god Pan that was also displayed upstairs .Surprisingly ,the porcelain piece was so delicately coloured that the flesh was quite convincing and realistic ! In fact , I really enjoyed the challenge of drawing his crown of leaves, pointed ears and horns too.

Greek style  plate in orange and black with angels - one of the photos in my exhibition review.
Greek style plate with angels
Black and orange bowl with sphinx motif
Sphinx Bowl

Back downstairs, you could see all the mythical creatures you could think of . And a few you never would have thought of . So , there were fairies, gods, dragons, angels, unicorns, sphinxes and other strange hybrids of human and animal origin. To be honest, I was even inspired to paint my own angel this Christmas. To see more angels, look at my December post ‘ Christmas Paintings in Acrylic on Canvas ‘ here

A watercolour sketch  of an angel with golden wings , inspired by the images of mythical creatures in the ceramic collection.
An Angel for Christmas
Salt Cellar

This is a real treasure house of plates, sculpture, vases and tableware. So I’m looking forward to the next display that the curators will, no doubt, put together.

A beautifully illustrated page from an old journal with illustrations of mythical creatures
Imaginary Beasts at Cannon Hall

Finally , the image above is from a sketchbook kept by one of the residents of Cannon Hall , in the past. As you can tell , the beautiful detail on these imaginary beasts is quite exceptional.

To sum up , there was loads of inspiration for creative work, if only I had the time ! I hope you enjoyed my little exhibition review .

Colourful Painting – Sunshiny Days

A Colourful Painting of a Mediterranean Coastal Scene in Watercolour

Colourful painting in watercolour of a harbour and a castle on the  Mediterranean coast .
The Med

This is my latest – a fairly quick watercolour sketch of a harbour scene. Because I was so fed up of all the dark , damp days we were having , I chose something light and sunny to paint. And it really worked ! My mood lifted straight away and , as an added bonus, everyone else who looked at it cheered up too . I really enjoy creating a colourful painting . I don’t know about you , but what I work on always affects my emotions. Art Therapy, anyone ?

An orange and blue abstract composition.
Sunshiny Day

Now , this acrylic painting is another example of my colourful painting that I did to brighten up dark November days . But this was put together in a completely different way from the harbour scene which is carefully detailed . To be honest , Sunshiny Day was painted quite instinctively . And I really had no idea before I started whet it would turn out to be . And it evolved gradually. It was a surprise to me , but I liked it ! I must say , I don’t often produce work this way – but I feel a series coming on. Are there any more Abstract Expressionists out there? ( I added the words afterwards to make it into a poster for my current exhibition – see previous post for details )

You can find this abstract painting with a few more in my Gallery Abstracts here

My First Solo Exhibition of Acrylic Paintings

A Walk Round My First Solo Exhibition of Acrylic Paintings

A semi-abstract acrylic painting in red and green showing apples falling from the tree at harvest time.
Apples Falling
Browsing
A photo of plates of biscuits and delicious homemade cakes
The Refreshments

Well – we had a blast at the opening of my first solo exhibition this morning at Skelmanthorpe Library Gallery.

Hanging the Exhibition

Labelling the Paintings
The curator hanging up my exhibition in gallery style
Gallery style hanging

It didn’t take us too long to put the exhibition up yesterday . Really, we were quite well organised and Mike Roberts [organiser and curator] was pretty nifty up and down the ladders.

Update – Spring Blossom in Wales – SOLD !

Spring Blossom in Wales
Elephant Festival

The Abstract Paintings at my Solo Exhibition

A big bright pink Spiral on a vibrant deep blue background  - an abstract in my first solo exhibition  .
The Spiral
A semi abstracted acrylic of a vase of sweet peas in pink , purple and green .This was the image for the poster of my solo exhibition  .
Sweetpeas

I was thrilled when Mike invited me to exhibit at this fabulous gallery for the month of January. At last – an exhibition all to myself ! I was also really pleased because Mike had seen my paintings on this new website – so , quick result ! In fact , this gallery is a new idea for the Community Library and it is really well worth supporting. Just remember , the library closes on Tuesday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

A semi abstracted composition portraying Jamaica and Reggae music . The best painting in  my solo exhibition.
Reggae Reggae

I would really like to say a big thank you to all my family and friends for their support this morning. You know , it really means a lot. And it was great showing off my work to you all.

2 acrylic paintings from the Landscape section - Still Standing  and Ladybower Reservoir
Boat People and Hadrian’s Wall
Ladybower Reservoir

All for Sale at my Solo Exhibition

The exhibition is open till February 1st.

These are all original artworks , painted in acrylic on paper or canvas, with the occasional watercolour and mixed media piece. And they are all for sale, with prices ranging from £30 – £150 . Please contact me if you are interested. I’m based in the UK.

Do have a look in my gallery to see more of my acrylic paintings. There’s also a more in-depth report on my exhibition in the Exhibition section on the main menu .

I hope you have enjoyed my exhibition review .

The Exhibition Poster

Margaret Hall World of Colour exhibition poster
A World of Colour

Christmas Paintings in Acrylic on Canvas

Ideas for Christmas Paintings

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Here are some ideas for Christmas paintings.

Small box canvas Christmas paintings in acrylic- Robin,  Christmas tree  and  snow covered village scenes.
The box canvas Christmas paintings

I love this time of year but the downside is not having enough time to paint as well as get the house Christmas ready. Of course you have to buy and wrap the pressies, decorate the tree and so on.

So it’s a good idea to : 1] Paint Christmas paintings and card designs the year before and then have them printed in time to send this year.

A watercolour painting of a boy dragging home this year's Christmas tree in the forest. A forest landscape.
This year’s tree

And the second strategy is to recycle artwork from previous years, dust them off and arrange them somewhere different in the house.

Mother and child walking through the snow  to the  Christmas service at church
Going to Church

Last year, I took part in the Angel Festival of Hoylandswaine church with my art group. I must say, the church looked brilliant – full of beautiful angels.

A traditional angel  walking down the path from Heaven to Earth .
Angel of Peace

Do you know , I got so enthused this year that I arranged an angel painting evening at Barnsley and District Art Society. And it was great fun. See more angels in my January post ‘ Mythical Creatures – Including Dragons ! ‘ here

Angel in a golden robe

And I did it all before the festive season to cut down on creative stress.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bright Nights – Light Installation

Christmas Lights at Barnsley Town Hall 2019

Barnsley Town Hall at night with red, purple and blue light installation - our Christmas lights.
Moody Blue and Purple
*The silhouette of the  Unknown Soldier against the red and blue light installation.
The Unknown Soldier

I went to Barnsley Bright Nights Festival at the weekend . The Christmas lights were very spectacular – there were lots of installations around the Town Hall area. Barnsley Town Hall itself was used for a stunning laser light display, focusing on the windows in this splendid building. My photos don’t really capture the beauty of the changing colours but, even so, they gave me some inspiration for Abstract Art compositions. The two photos above made me want to create a painting based on the idea of extra bright blocks of colour against a jet black background. ( Keep an eye on the Abstract section of my Gallery – you never know what might turn up ! )

The Unknown Soldier against the blood red light
Blood Red
The tower of the Town Hall in silver and the Christmas tree in blue at Barnsley Bright Nights .
Silver, Red and Blue

The floodlighting of the building in a deep red was particularly effective. The idea of blood dripping down over the scene was quite moving. Especially so as the First World War monument, showing the Unknown Soldier on a tall plinth, was silhouetted against the red.

I think I might combine some of the elements of both of the photos above into one painting. So many ideas, so little time ! But I really ought to get a painting of Bright Nights down on canvas .

The Gaia Installation at Barnsley Bright Nights

A photo of the Earth  in the  Gaia installation at Barnsley  college  , taken from the  balcony above it. Part of Barnsley Bright Nights .
The Beautiful World

The Gaia installation in the Barnsley College was ‘out of this world ‘ if you know what I mean. In fact ,it was suspended in space from the top of the huge atrium. As we walked up the winding staircase, we could see it from all angles. And if that doesn’t convince people of the urgency of our situation, I don’t know what would.

But quite apart from climate change worries, I started thinking about painting an abstract , I was inspired by the beautiful globe of green, blue and quite a lot of brown ( taken from NASA photos ) . I imagined a composition of swirling shapes, wispy clouds and the Deep Blue. Quite a lot of inspiration for one day.

Art Cafe Exhibition of Acrylic Paintings

Acrylic Paintings in an Art Cafe Exhibition in Rotherham

A photo of my oil pastel painting Apples and Fantasy Apples  showing bright red apples in the art cafe exhibition .
Apples and Fantasy Apples
My acrylic painting  Harbour Lights  on the wall in the art cafe.A coastal landscape
Harbour Lights

This is the first post on my new blog. That is to say , I’m just getting this new blog going. Stay tuned for more. Meanwhile , this is my Art cafe exhibition !

When I was in Rotherham for a meeting on Friday, I popped into a lovely cafe Fitzwilliam and Hughes to have a look at 2 of my paintings that they have very kindly displayed – one right next to the counter! Actually, the cafe is close to the impressive Minster and you get really good views of it through the large windows.

A photo of the arched doorway of Rotherham Minster  - great artists' inspiration.
Rotherham Minster
A photo of the art cafe doorway  in Art Nouveau style - inside you can see my artcafe exhibition.
The Art Cafe

The Floods in South Yorkshire 2019

After enjoying good coffee and seriously good brownies, we walked back to the car parked next to the mighty River Don. Thankfully, the river has now gone down after last week’s floods. But it still seems to be flowing at a slightly alarming rate.

A photo of the River Don in full flow after the floods,  taken in the town centre
The Mighty River Don
A photo of counter, the till and my  painting of apples in the  cafe
Art Cafe

There was lots of lovely artwork on the walls in the café, so I felt very pleased to be included in their current exhibition. And you can see these 2 paintings along with others in my Gallery

In fact, there’s loads more of my acrylic paintings on show now in Skelmanthorpe Library Gallery – have a look at the ‘ My First Solo Exhibition ‘ post here

Oil pastel painting - red apples in a woven basket on wooden floorboards -part of my art cafe exhibition.
Apples – in oil pastel
Harbour Lights – in acrylic