Creative Inspiration: A new way to quick-start abstract painting

Creative Inspiration: 10 minute mark making & abstract painting!

I’ve decided to include a new item to my blog I will call “Creative Inspiration”. This blog write up will be dedicated to giving you something inspiring to support you in your art and creativity. Often it'll be something you can do or try.

Today I’d like to share with you a really fun 10 minute abstract painting practice piece you can do easily and quickly.

If you have taken a workshop with me or planning to in the future, you’ll know that I am big on practicing painting with little paintings, I call Little Gems.

These pieces are all about getting you into your groove, allowing for mistakes, working with ideas in a small way and simply getting starter – which can often be the biggest hurdle.

So, let’s get started.

Materials. 3 pieces of paper. 9 x 12” size is good. Paper that is labeled for use for acrylics or a heavier watercolor paper (90 pounds or heavier) this would work fine or you could also use canvas pads, but for this exercise

Gather some drawing tools you have on hand. This could be conte sticks, charcoal, pencils, water soluble graphite sticks (derwent or Lyra).

Basics: Yogurt containers for water, a few brushes, papertowels.

White Gesso. For best results I recommend Liquitex gesso (it’s the same consistency as cream and works beautifully for this exercise!)

SET UP. Get your three pieces of paper out and ready to use. Also fill up your water buckets, fold your paper towels, have your brushes and white gesso ready and available.

FREE SKETCH. Make marks on your papers just free scribble, lines, images, words, curves…no rules, be brave, make a mess, be fearless and have fun, play. Putting on music that energizes or inspires you may help free up your creative spirit here.

WATER & GESSO. Now paint over some parts, all, just a section of your lines and marks with water and white gesso. Experiment blednign the gesso with your black media and see if you can make shades of grey that add dimension to your piece.

MORE PLAY! If you are using the thin Liquitex gesso, you can put these painting aside and they will dry quite quickly. Then when the painting is dry you can go back and add more lines and marks and then another layer of white gesso. Or scrape back.

Just working in black and white can be liberating.

You could also add colour your final paintings if you choose. The only limit – ever – is your imagination. ( used Quinacradone Nicko Azo Gold in GOLDEN Liquid acrylics here to create the yellow/gold glaze over the black and white under layer image)

These are a few photos of practice pieces I did for this exercise. They are not great, I wouldn’t even call them that good. But It’s not the point here to make great art. We are freeing our creative spirit and practicing here and making bad art is a good way to do this.

My hope for you is that you allow yourself to make some bad art and have some great fun doing it.

Be Brave! Go do it!