Abstract Art

Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time.

Abstract art, non-figurative art, non-objective art, and nonrepresentational art are loosely related terms. They are similar, but perhaps not of identical meaning.

Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum. Even art that aims for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representation is likely to be exceedingly elusive. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable. In geometric abstraction, for instance, one is unlikely to find references to naturalistic entities. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost mutually exclusive. But figurative and representational (or realistic) art often contains partial abstraction.

Painting Random Geometric Abstract Art

  1. Create a textured background. One of the easiest ways to do this is to apply artist-quality Gesso, a thick gel-like primer. Apply it like paint, or spread it around with a palette knife, if it’s thick enough. This will allow you to control the style of the texture.
  2. Tape lines at intersecting points across the canvas. Use blue painter’s tape and place several lines, creating geometric shapes, such as triangles, squares, and rectangles. The goal is to create images that aren’t representative of reality. The taped lines will help you paint Painter’s tape will ensure that your painting has crisp, clear lines and shapes.
  3. Mix your paint colors. Decide which colors you’ll be using to complete your painting. Mix them on an artist’s palette or plate. You could also mix the colors directly on the canvas, but this will take away some control over the finished look.
  4. Paint in the spaces between the tape. Don’t worry if you happen to get paint on the painter’s tape. Also, don’t feel as though you must fill your entire canvas, or all of the shapes, with color.
  5. Remove the tape. As soon as you’ve decided the painting is complete, remove the painter’s tape. If you’d like crisp, clear edges, remove the tape while the paint is still wet. If you remove the tape from a dry painting, it’s liable to pull paint away with it, creating slightly rough edges.
  6. Fill in the blank space from the tape, optional. Once you remove the tape, you’ll notice white lines from where the tape was covering the canvas. While you can leave it, you could also paint the lines in.