Inside: what is abstract painting and how you can make it without complicated techniques or artistic experience.


I consider myself an artist but I have no formal artistic education and I don't have an art degree or even traditional experience. Even though I don't have all that I still call myself an artist because I make art and create it in my own way. The art I make might not follow the traditional rules or laws but it says something to me and that's what matters. Making art is something everyone can do and I believe abstract art is the way to start!





Abstract painting does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world, even in an extremely distorted or exaggerated way. Therefore, the subject of the work is based on what you see: color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale and, in some cases, the process.




In general abstract painting has no rules because it doesn't need to describe anything in real life. Basically you can do anything you want on your page or canvas and there isno limit to it.

However there are some structures that can hold your painting together and give it a cohesive look and make it look professional:

  • A composition, what we can call a formal foundation. Some types of composition include an overall design.
  • Radial design (everything radiates from the center)
  • Grid in any axis (for example, horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
  • Triangular design (the scalene triangle is easier to work with because its sides are all different lengths)
  • A bridge design (something connects one side to the other)
  • The cruciform (cross-shape); the rectangle within a rectangular frame
  • and many designs based on the shapes of letters (L, S and Z, H and T designs are some of the more common ones).

In my abstract painting I used a grid design.





  • Start with an idea—a concept to direct your work. It can be a shape, a color or a pattern.
  • Build your abstract painting on a solid compositional structure following one of the structures mentioned above.
  • This is the fun part—use whatever materials and whatever technique you have at hand to support the first two steps.
  • Finally realize, as with all creative work, there are no hard and fast rules, except the ones you make for yourself.







The best paints to use in abstract painting is acrylic paints:

  • They come in great variety
  • It is easy to mix them and make new colors
  • You can control their consistency with gel medium or specialized acrylic color extenders.
  • No need for special brushes or tools they can be applied with a palette knife and even a popsicle stick
  • Dry quicker then oil paints
  • Easy to clean from the brushes and tools



Applying acrylic paints can be done with a variet of tools:

  • Different types of brushes
  • Palette knife
  • Household items like tp rolls, pencil tips, bubble wrap and more
  • Nature objects like branches and leafs
  • Unique brushes like split brush, decorative brush
  • Your fingers!




You can add texture to the painting to make it more interesting and artistic:


  • Stencils
  • Make the paint ticker with gel medium and "sculpture" it with a palette knife
  • Free hand drawing inside a thick layer of paint with a sharp tool or even a dry pen tip
  • Plastic card strokes



The great thing about abstract painting is that it doesn't have a specific direction especially if you make i on a square canvas. I like how my painting turned out in all four directions!




Need some more ideas to work on a canvas and make abstract artwork or mixed media canvases? Check out these easy to follow tutorials!


Here are my favorite materilas, tools and paints to use for this project:



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Have fun creating!

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Einat Kessler


Hello crafty friends!
I'm Einat: creative professional,mixed media artist, scrapbook and paper designer, altering enthusiast and class instructor.
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The designs, pictures and instructions listed on this blog are provided here for personal use only and may not be sold, reproduced or used for commercial or submission purposes in any form without my written permission.