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Acrylic Abstract Painting Tutorial

Acrylic Abstract Painting Tutorial

In this Acrylic Abstract Painting Tutorial I am going to share with you a step by step breakdown of a terrific abstract landscape. This is a project from the new ‘Abstract Painting Level 1‘ course which provides a great introduction to abstract painting.

Abstract Painting 1

The Abstract Painting Level 1 course is now available for those who want to further explore how to paint abstract paintings in acrylics.

When you join the course you will get the full videos to this project outlined below.

Register For The Abstract Painting Video Course Here

Hurry – Early Bird Price Ends Saturday 1st July

Now lets look at the project and break it down into easy to follow steps for you.

This abstract painting project is being done in acrylics and I am painting on a 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas. I only use one brush for the painting which is a 1″ geso brush with bristle hairs.

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In the first step above I establish a basic drawing. The colours are Cerulean Blue and Titanium White mixed together which will also be our sky colour. As you can see the drawing is very simple just placing in the hill line, larger tree and smaller tree.

I did the drawing quickly and spontaneously. The key is just to identify where the big shapes will go in your painting rather than trying to draw in every detail.

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Then I use the same mix and start to block in the sky.

I want to create lots of movement and life in the sky. So I vary up my brush strokes and use a lot of variety. Also you will notice I am using a lot of paint. This is the key to getting acrylics to paint like oils … use a lot of paint and it will stay wet longer giving you more time to manipulate it.

The other advantage of using a lot of paint is that it allows you to create nice textures in your brush marks.

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As I am using a cool blue for the sky I decided I wanted to contrast this with some warmth in the sky as well.

The mix I have on the palette is Alizarin Crimson + Yellow Ochre + Titanium White. I then work this into the lower part of the sky thinking it will create a great effect against the greens of the trees and the hillside.

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Note that I also work this warmer colour up into the blue section and pull some of the blue sky down into the warmer section of the sky. This is important as it connects the two areas into one integrated sky.

At this point I had too much water in the sky so decide its best to leave it there and come back to it later.

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Moving on to the trees I start to block in the shadow tone for both the large tree and smaller tree.

This is simply a dark mix of Ultramarine Blue with Alizarin Crimson.

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With the trees blocked in I move to the block in of the hill side.

My thinking is that I want the hillside to have lots of vibrant green tones when its finished. As red is the compliment of green I have found it is a good idea to block in with a red earthy tone. When you place the greens over the top they create a harmonious vibrant effect.

Here I am blocking in the hillside with Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ochre mix.

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After allowing time for everything to dry off I come back and start to develop the green into the hillside.

I want the horizon line to be the brightest green to pull the eye into the painting.

The mix here is Cadmium Yellow with Pthalo Green. Notice I shift between being more on the yellow side then back to more on the green side.

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It is important to also vary your brush strokes.

I have a lot of horizontal strokes running down the hill but I vary that with some vertical strokes as well. And using the edge of the brush I flick up some grass like effects against the shadows of the trees.

Notice how the earthy red under painting is peeking through the more vibrant green grasses.

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Then its time to create highlights and texture into the trees.

I do this with a variety of greens mixed with both my warm and cool blues, warm and cool yellows and alizarin crimson.

The key here is the brush strokes. I just use the bristle hairs on the edge of the brush and swish the brush around to create random yet controlled strokes to resemble foliage on the trees.

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Now that I feel I have the trees working well I switch my focus back to the sky.

By this stage the water that was in the sky has now dried off so I can safely work back into it. I start by working the warm sky tone back into the lower part of the sky and strengthen it here and there.

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Then I take the cooler blue and work it also back into the sky strengthening the parts of the sky that need a stronger cooler blue. And I also work some of it into the warm tone in the lower part of the sky.

Overall I am happy with the finished result as you can see here.

Abstract Wall

This is a terrific painting project to try. It is a good contemporary abstract painting and as you can see in the above photo the finished painting would look great in most people’s homes.

I definitely recommend having a go at this one as its a lot of fun and you can put your own style into it.

If you want to see the full video version of this project and variations of it then …

Register For The Abstract Painting Video Course Here

It is a comprehensive course that introduces the idea of abstract painting in acrylics for beginners.

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Abstract Painting Project Step By Step

Abstract Painting Project Step By Step

Abstract Painting 1

New “Abstract Painting Level 1” Course Launching Soon

In this tutorial I will show you step by step how to create a terrific abstract painting in acrylics.

This project is part of the soon to be released ‘Abstract Painting Level 1‘ course. So if you like this project then it would be worthwhile keeping your eye open for details on the early bird pricing offer when we release the course.

As with all of our courses and projects here at Moore Art School we will be doing this abstract painting project using the Moore Method of Painting.

Of course this being an abstract painting project from the new Abstract Painting Level 1 course, there are going to be some differences. We will be moving away from a realism approach to a level of abstraction. As a result there will be less effort to paint every detail in through out the course and more focus on capturing the feeling of a place or scene.

Note – This is the first of the four projects being taught in the new course. The other projects will be even more abstract and move further from a realism approach.

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We start out (in the above picture) using a 1″ geso brush with bristle hairs. This is the same brush we often use in our projects and courses. The mix of paint is Cereluen Blue with Titanium White. I am using Atelier Interactive Acrylics for this project and painting on a 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas.

After mixing the cool sky colour I start our first step which is to do our basic drawing. In the above I am establishing the horizon line about one third of the way from the top.

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After painting in the horizon line I indicated a small land mass to the left hand side of the painting.

When I stood back to check it appeared the horizon and land mass where too high so I lowered it all down about an inch or so. That completed the drawing step.

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Step two of the Moore Method is the block in step. Using lots of paint I block in the sky area creating a nice cool sky tone. In the video for this project you will note that I really vary my brush strokes a lot to add interest into the sky.

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Next I add Ultramarine Blue to my palette. This is a warmer blue and will be ideal for the larger water area. I mix it with Titanium White. Note that it has to cover two thirds of the canvas so mix plenty of paint up before you start blocking it in.

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The paint was drying off fast so I used my spray bottle to just lightly mist the surface of the canvas. By doing so I give myself extra time to blend the water correctly.

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Now it is time to block in the land mass.

The mix I use for this is basically a dark. So Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson work fine. I also have Yellow Ochre on the palette (note this is my standard palette) and a touch would have been added in to darken the mix even further.

I mix it using the palette knife which I also use to then apply it to the canvas and form the shape of the land mass. Do not fuss with this too much … keep it a little random and undefined.

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A mix of Yellow Ochre and Titanium White make a great sand colour so I add just a little to the edge of the land mass to create a sandy beach impression.

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It’s time to have some fun and beef this painting up a little.

I mix a warm sky cloud colour. To do this I use the Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White together. Don’t overmix this. Keep the colours a little broken in the mix for added interest.

Then I get a scoop of it on the palette knife and start to fashion in some cloud like shapes. You need to be brave at this stage 🙂

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After shaping up the clouds a little I then create the cloud reflections.

Load the palette knife edge with the warm cloud colour and then place it on the horizon line. Then drag downwards to the bottom of the canvas. Looks great doesn’t it? The key is not to use too much pressure on the knife. Let the weave of the canvas drag the paint off.

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Above I have done something similar with the land reflections. The only difference is I have pushed the dark mix of the land mass a little bluer. Simply add more Ultramarine into the dark mix until it goes bluer. Then use the same technique of dragging the reflection down with the palette knife.

Notice the original blue of the water is still coming through between the reflections.

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With almost pure white and slightly smaller palette knife I indicate some sail boats on the water.

I do one main one and then several smaller ones off in the distance.

The reflections are done using the same technique of dragging the paint down with the knife.

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After standing back and looking at what we had done so far I concluded it was time to reduce the size of the clouds. This was easy to do simply by mixing the sky colour again and just painting back into the clouds. The good thing was it allowed me to shape the clouds in a more interesting way.

I have also done the same with the original water colour using it to shape up the reflections.

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And finally after a few more tweaks I added my signature to it.

Overall a fun project to try at home. Try a few different variations with it and add in your own ideas.

The full video recording of this project will be in the soon to be released Abstract Painting Level 1 course which will be out soon.

Painting abstracts can be a very liberating way to free yourself up, get loose and allow your creative juices to flow freely. By doing so it can only improve all aspects of your painting skills.

Give this one a try or wait until you get the full videos and try it then.

But definitely try abstract painting.

It’s a lot of fun