Abstract Art Ideas Definition
Making abstract art is liberating and there are so many ways to go about it. Whichever approach you like to take, we hope these abstract art ideas and links to articles on how to paint abstract art will help. Some of these are also good art ideas for children or can be enjoyed with adults and children working together.
This is an approach used by the surrealist artists and abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky also used it to develop their painting styles.
Begin by assembling your materials – use inexpensive paper and select your charcoal, pencils, pastels, pen and ink or paints and brushes. When you’ve positioned your paper and your drawing materials, take a moment to quiet your mind before you begin.
Make a mark on the paper and see where it takes you. Go with the flow. You will find that one shape or mark leads into another and then another and gradually the picture begins to build up.
This process should be spontaneous and intuitive. Begin with short exercises, limiting the time you spend on each drawing to five or ten minutes. Don’t get caught up in a drawing, move on to a new one if it’s not feeling ‘automatic’. The more quickly you work at the beginning, the better. Don’t worry about the end result. Bind and gag your inner critic and just have some fun. Relax, enjoy your creativity and abstract art ideas will flow.
Try using a glass dropper to put some blobs of different coloured paints (use poster paint or acrylic paint diluted in water) on some paper. (The dropper makes it easier to control the paint you put on the paper but if you don’t have one, just drip the paint on to the paper). Blow through a drinking straw to disperse the paint around the page, turning the paper to change direction, changing the angle of the straw etc so that the colors mix and form different shapes and patterns. It’s a no-pressure kind of art-making which is fun for both adults and children.
You need space for this technique and you also need to ensure that the area your working in is well protected, if that’s necessary. Place your paper on the ground and load your brush with paint and then just shake it over the paper so that the paint splatters on. Different patterns will emerge, depending on the force of your wrist movement, the amount of paint you use, the direction you work etc. See the MoMA video (link in the right hand panel) to see how Jackson Pollock worked with this method.
Making a collage
Making a collage is another great art party idea. You can gather up lots of materials beforehand and kids (and adults) can have a great time letting their imagination loose on a creation inspired by the stuff they find in the pile you provide.
It’s a really absorbing process and children love being able to create weird and wonderful stories with the objects they find. Collect plain and patterned paper, pictures from magazines, cardboard, fabric, wool, leaves, seeds, buttons, – almost anything you can think of provided it isn’t dangerous to small children – can be used to stimulate the imagination and create the most fantastical pictures.
Digital Abstract Collage
The print below was developed from a collage created by using cut-outs of brightly coloured card on white paper. The collage was then scanned in to create a basic image with the colours and lines. The image was then enhanced and enlarged using software like photoshop to create the final print.
Taking inspiration from the grids and straight lines of the artists who work geometrically, this technique is very simple. Start with a blank white painted canvas, and cover with a good quality masking tape in a grid or pattern, making sure that the tape is pressed down firmly. Paint over the whole canvas with either a single colour or more as you prefer. Remove the masking tape to reveal the crisp-edged white lines beneath. Touch-up as you need
Painting with salt
I really enjoyed doing this in an art workshop I took my daughter to. We took some salt and put it on some tin foil (aluminium foil). We then used a colored marker to spread some color around the tin foil and mixed it into the salt so that it colored the salt. When we had lined up some salt in different colors, we used a glue stick to draw a pattern or a picture onto a piece of paper. You can’t ‘see’ what you’re drawing, so you’re using your imagination to create your picture. You then sprinkle the salt onto the picture and your creation emerges.
I found that it's really fun process to do and easy enough to try at home. Iif you don’t mind a little mess, it might be a fun art party idea too.