Art History Lab

Unleashing Your Creative Freedom: A Beginner’s Guide to Abstract Art

Abstract art may seem like a confusing exercise to those who are new to it, with a lack of direction and difficulty in understanding what is required. It can be hard to find inspiration and know where to start with this art form.

However, abstract art can be a rewarding experience that allows for complete creative freedom. In this article, we will provide an easy guide to abstract art designs that will help you get started.

We will begin by discussing the difficulty of starting abstract art and where to find inspiration before moving on to the necessary materials and preparation required.

to Abstract Art Ideas

Difficulty in Starting Abstract Art

Starting abstract art can seem like a daunting task, and it is easy to understand why. Many people feel that there is a lack of direction or clear guidelines to follow when creating abstract art.

However, abstract art is all about freedom and exploring one’s creative side. One aspect that can make abstract art difficult is the uncertainty of where to start.

Unlike other art forms that have set rules and procedures, abstract art requires that you create from your imagination. This can make it highly confusing and intimidating for many beginners.

To overcome the challenge of starting abstract art, it is essential to overcome the fear of not knowing where to start. Sometimes, it may be best to begin with something simple, such as doodling shapes or patterns.

Start by doodling what comes to mind and let your imagination run free.

Inspiration from the World Around Us

Inspiration is the foundation of abstract art. Drawing inspiration from your surroundings can help to overcome the challenge of starting abstract art.

The world around you is a vast source of inspiration, which can come from many different sources, including nature, objects, shapes, colors, and sounds. Nature is a popular source of inspiration for many artists.

The natural world is full of beauty, and there are endless possibilities for abstract art creations. The sky, nature, and animals’ colors and patterns can inspire you to create beautiful abstract art designs.

Objects such as buildings, statues, and sculptures can also provide inspiration for abstract art designs. You can focus on the lines, curves, shapes, and colors of these objects and use them as the starting point for your abstract art.

Colors and sounds are other significant sources of inspiration. Music, for example, has a powerful emotional resonance that can be reflected in your art.

Use music as a tool to find the colors, shapes, and patterns to create abstract art.

Easy Guide to Abstract Art Designs

Necessary Materials

Creating abstract art requires some specific materials. The following are the necessary materials that every beginner must-have for creating abstract art:

Acrylic paint: Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that is suitable for abstract art.

It dries quickly, making it easier to work with. Additionally, it is affordable and available in many colors.

Watercolor paint: Watercolor paint can be used to create subtle and delicate abstract art designs. It is transparent, which means that you can create layers of colors, giving depth and texture to your art.

Paper: Choosing the right paper for your abstract art is essential. The thickness of the paper can affect the paint application, and you need to choose a paper that withstands the water and paint application.

Charcoal and pencils: Charcoal and pencils are essential for creating outlines and rough sketches of your abstract art designs. Masking tape: Masking tape is used for creating sharp and precise lines.

It helps to keep the paint application neat and clean. Ruler: A ruler is necessary when creating geometric shapes and designs.

It helps to keep lines straight and symmetrical.


Preparing for abstract art is as important as the creation stage. The right preparation sets the groundwork for a successful art creation experience.

Here are a few things to consider when preparing to create abstract art:

Quiet space: Find a quiet space for the creation of your abstract art. This space should be free from distractions and noise.

Organized materials: Keep your materials organized and within reach. Being organized will save you time, reduce clutter, and improve your overall art creation experience.

Calming environment: Creating abstract art requires concentration and focus. Being in a calming environment helps to increase your concentration and productivity.

Music: Music can help to create inspiration and help you get into the right mindset for creating abstract art. Choose the right music that reflects your mood and the type of abstract art creation you intend to undertake.


Abstract art is a beautiful and rewarding way to express your creativity. Starting this art form can be confusing and difficult, but finding inspiration from your surroundings and preparing your materials can help overcome the challenge.

Remember that abstract art is all about freedom and exploring your imagination. Embrace this art form and let your creativity flourish.

Creating Abstract Art Designs

Abstract Geometry-Styled Acrylic Painting

One way to create abstract art is by utilizing geometric shapes and lines. This style of abstract art can be achieved with acrylic paint and masking tape.

Here are some tips to remember when creating an abstract geometry-styled acrylic painting:

Masking tape: Use masking tape to create clean and precise lines for the geometry-styled art. The tape also helps to protect the areas you don’t want to paint over.

Geometric shapes: Use geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, or circles to create the base of your art. Explore the use of more complex forms to add depth and interest to the composition.

Light and shadow: Experiment with light and shadow to add depth and dimension to your art. This can be achieved with tonal values, the contrast between dark and light shades.

Composition: Plan your composition to ensure that the geometric shapes work together cohesively. Aim for a balanced and unified design.

Abstract Layered Watercolor Painting

Another way to create abstract art is by layering washes of watercolor paint. This technique creates depth and dimension, making the art lively and interesting.

Here are some tips to remember when creating abstract layered watercolor painting:

Layering technique: Start by creating a simple design. Then, add layers of watercolor washes to your design, letting each layer dry before adding another.

This technique will create depth and dimension to the art over time. Washes: Experiment with different washes to create different effects and textures.

A wash is created by applying a thin layer of watercolor paint to your paper. You can use a brush, or even a dropper, to apply the wash.

Depth and dimension: To create depth and dimension, use more pigment and less water in your layers. This technique creates more intense colors, which can give the art more depth and dimension.

Patience: Creating abstract layered watercolor paintings requires patience since you have to wait for each layer of paint to dry before applying the next. It’s a time-consuming process, but the result is worth the wait.

Abstract Portrait Drawing with Charcoal

Portraiture in abstract art can be challenging since it requires a level of realism that goes beyond the genre’s typical goal of the art form. Abstract art portraits rely more on expression than on accuracy.

Here are some tips to remember when creating an abstract portrait drawing with charcoal:

Placement of features: Start your drawing by placing the features of the face in the correct location. Be sure to use the correct proportions so that the face looks recognizable.

Reshaping and morphing: Once the basic features are in place, you can start to reshape and morph them into abstract forms. Use expressive lines and marks to create a unique expression.

Practice and repetition: Creating abstract portraits takes time, patience, and lots of practice. Try drawing multiple versions of the same subject until youre comfortable.

Quick Photography-Styled Landscape Drawing

Landscape drawings can be a quick way to create abstract art. Here are some tips to remember when creating a quick photography-styled landscape drawing:

Aspect ratio: When drawing landscapes, consider the aspect ratio of the paper or canvas youre using.

Select an aspect ratio that works well for the subject you want to draw. Documenting the moment: When creating a landscape drawing, consider the moment you want to capture.

This could be a sunset or a particular view that speaks to you. Keeping it loose: Be playful with your drawings, making spontaneous marks and adjustments.

Keep the drawing loose and let the lines flow freely. Focus on light and shadow: All landscapes have distinct light and shadow patterns, and emphasizing those can help create depth.

Paying attention to the relationship between light and shadow can create realistic and interesting abstract landscapes.

Tips to Remember

Being Patient with the Painting Process

Patience is key when it comes to creating abstract art. To ensure that your painting comes out as envisioned, take your time while creating it.

Allow your paint to dry completely before adding more layers, as putting paint onto wet paint will smudge or mix the colors. Also, allow your acrylic to dry for 24 hours before adding varnish or framing your painting.

Masking tape can help achieve straight lines.

Keeping Drawings Loose

When drawing abstract art, allow for playfulness and spontaneity. Avoid being too strict by allowing unintentional marks to come through.

Engage yourself in the creative process and simply enjoy the experience. Dont worry about making mistakes, embrace them instead.

Using Techniques in Different Ways

Experiment with different tools and explore the different techniques possible with each. For example, a paintbrush can be used to create various textures, lines, and shapes.

Try blending various mediums and explore the creative process to develop new and innovative techniques.

Not Taking it too Seriously

Abstract art is a form of expression, making it essential to enjoy the experience without putting too much pressure on yourself. Do not accept criticism from others or from yourself, just let the creative process flow through you.

Abstract art is all about embracing the freedom of creativity, have fun and enjoy the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Creating Three Dimensions with Acrylic Paint

Creating a three-dimensional effect with acrylic paint can add depth and realism to your abstract art. Here are some tips to remember when trying to achieve this effect:

Light and shadow: Pay attention to the interplay of light and shadow in your painting.

Shadows can create the illusion of depth and make objects appear more three-dimensional. Use darker tones to indicate areas of shadow, and lighter tones to indicate areas where light hits the objects.

Tonal value: Tonal value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. By varying the tonal value in your painting, you can create depth and dimension.

Use lighter colors for areas that are closer to the light source and darker colors for areas that are farther away. Layering: Layering is another technique that can help create a three-dimensional effect.

Start with a base layer of paint and gradually build up layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. This layering effect adds depth and texture to your painting.

Waiting for the Watercolor to Dry When Making Layers

Layering watercolor is a technique that requires patience and careful consideration of drying times. Here are some tips to remember when waiting for the watercolor to dry when making layers:

Waiting for drying: To achieve the desired layering effect, it is important to let each layer of watercolor dry completely before adding the next layer.

This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the thickness of the paint, the humidity in the air, and the type of paper you are using. Layering effect: Waiting for the watercolor to dry allows you to create a distinct layering effect.

Each layer adds depth and dimension to your artwork. If you apply wet paint onto a moist layer, it can cause the colors to mix, resulting in an unwanted muddy effect.

Same tonal value: When layering watercolors, it is important to keep the tonal value consistent across all layers. This helps maintain the overall harmony and balance of the painting.

Adjust the intensity of the color by adding more pigment or water, rather than relying solely on darkening or lightening the hue.

Making a Landscape Drawing Abstract

Transforming a landscape drawing into an abstract artwork involves capturing the essence of the scene and simplifying its elements. Here are some tips to remember when making a landscape drawing abstract:

Vague observation: Instead of focusing on capturing every detail of the landscape, try to observe it in a vague and general way.

Look for the overall shapes, colors, and lines that define the scene, rather than getting caught up in specific details. Capturing essence: The goal of an abstract landscape drawing is to capture the essence and feeling of the scene, rather than reproducing it exactly.

Consider the mood, atmosphere, and emotions the landscape evokes, and try to translate those into your drawing. Fluid drawing: To create a more abstract interpretation of a landscape, embrace a loose and fluid drawing style.

Use flowing lines and brushstrokes, allowing your hand to move freely across the paper. This will give your drawing a more dynamic and expressive quality.

Scribbling details: Instead of meticulously rendering specific details, try using scribbles or quick, spontaneous marks to suggest texture or movement in the landscape. This adds energy and vitality to your artwork and enhances the abstract nature of the drawing.

Incorporating these tips into your landscape drawing will help you create a unique and expressive abstract interpretation of the scene. Remember, abstract art is about personal expression and creativity, so don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different techniques and styles.

In this comprehensive guide to abstract art, we explored various aspects of creating abstract designs. We discussed the difficulty of starting abstract art and emphasized the importance of finding inspiration from the world around us.

We provided tips for different mediums, including acrylic painting, watercolor painting, charcoal drawing, and landscape photography drawing. We also addressed common questions, such as creating three dimensions with acrylic paint, waiting for watercolor to dry when making layers, and making a landscape drawing abstract.

Throughout the article, we emphasized the need for patience, playfulness, and exploration in the abstract art process. Abstract art is a liberating and expressive form of creativity that invites personal interpretation.

So go forth, embrace the freedom it offers, and create art that speaks to your soul. Let your imagination soar and immerse yourself in the joy of making art.

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