Where to Get Abstract Painting Ideas

Abstract painting is a fantastic way to express emotions and is a wonderful creative outlet. The only problem is that it can be tricky to decide what to paint, especially when inspiration runs out.

Be careful not to look at official abstract art too much when looking for ideas, as you want to come up with your own style over time.

In this abstract oil painting lesson, I am going to discuss some tips on where you can get your inspirations from and turn your ideas into art onto the canvas.

Your Life

One of the best places to look for painting ideas is in your own life. Paint your emotions, your feelings. Try remembering certain events while you’re painting these feelings – what did your emotion look like at the time? Was it big, or small? Was it bright or subdued?

Try painting a person. Don’t look at the face, but pay attention to the colors, shapes and forms in the person. You may be surprised by what you can create this way!

Take a walk outside. Stroll through cities, parks and wild, forested areas. Landscapes and nature can be incredibly inspiring, and so can the intricacies of modern living.

Abstract Ideas

Think of contrasting ideas that you could represent in a painting. Some examples include big vs. small, hard vs. soft, light vs. dark and simple vs. complicated.

Open a dictionary at a random page and point at the page without looking. Paint your interpretation of the word that you land on. This can also work nicely with encyclopedias and any other books, for that matter.

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Work by Other Artists

Find other artworks and use aspects of them in your painting. Adapt the artwork as you would adapt a photo in the ways described above, or try to replicate the mood or feeling that the original artwork conveys.

Paint while listening intently to music and discover how sound can turn into something visual, through the conduit of your own body.

Photos can be used to your advantage in multiple ways. Take a photo that you like and mix the colors exactly for your palette, then use them in a different scene to create a new image that has the same mood as your photograph. Another way to use photos would be to select some of the lines and shapes in the photo and to paint them in a different setting.

Internet and Literature

The internet, books and magazines are common tools used to find ideas. Look for photos, artworks, video clips, music and even poetry, essays and blogs that could inspire you. There are many great collections of photos that have been specifically put together and uploaded for the inspiration of artists.

The Creativity and Ingenuity of Other People

If you’re still having difficulty deciding what to paint, then ask friends and family for ideas. The less somebody knows about art and painting, the more interesting their ideas might turn out to be – don’t dismiss something that seems like too abstract an idea, and don’t ignore what you might think of as simple ideas, either… You never know where they might take you.

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