Abstracts for Dummies: How to START an Abstract painting

Abstracts for Dummies: How to START an Abstract painting

Please note that this is just an easy way to START an abstract and NOT INTENDED TO BE A FINISHED RESULT. This exercise is intended for beginners that need to overcome the fear of the white canvass. Okay, so what we doing is getting an abstract and what I’ve done is. I’m just mixing some primary colors In there, it’s quite runny, so it’s quite runny so from this mutagen primary colors water Because we working with the frolics because it breaks is just fucking easy speak to dry Easy to maneuver [wells] it’s more difficult So basically I’m making [the] face almost to be a little bit like like water cut So basically we always going to use like a watercolor technique, so this is just the same primaries But you can use any colors you can use Any colors or colors? [okay] Okay, [so] what I’m going to do now. I’m just going [to] play It’s actually lucky to have a so it’s only Gonna pilot not for me just a big flat but not a small [one] [a] big One what I’m going to do. I’m just gonna pour Big one big ones big as possible never mind can I use this? Now ideally it would [be] nice to have this just like drivers, but now you can do all kinds of things you can take cloth You can put the cloth in there you can [do] [stuff] with your fingers There is one office that actually With the cameras and she runs fools people to the [Gaviscon] phone and then she has the imprint of our body they said yellow So just give me some and add [yellow] So you can really play. It’s quite nice to just plug Now the trick with abstract is [new] [it] to just work from one side to work for more than once I know this start with abstract. I’m doing now is More likely what we call an emotional extract, so I’m deliberately just playing and then I’m going to analyze it Look at that nice effects on it. So now I’m turning it. So now I’m going to look at it You need lots of space for this I’m going to say okay What does it work for me going this side? Maybe maybe not but [about] this way, okay? I like I Like that so now I’m going to play with that Add a little bit more paint and now I’m actually painting I’m adding more, but I’m working what we call wet-on-wet Enhancing certain things can you see now? I’m just working with three colors now when you can work with as many colors as [you] want So now I’m deliberately Doing things and I can at least keep on doing some stuff until I get something that [I] really like using third position So now I’m using the collect here You have just play until I get something that [I] like When I keep turning it So now if I look at it like that can you see this is [two] central? so now That looks on the way This way yeah something interesting and happening here. Can you see they they actually start adding some whites now, so now you? Yeah good. I like this way okay, but the thing is you have to keep it’s not a finished product Yes at this point You can’t really decide which way is it going to go you keep working until you get something that actually works for you? Like I like that. That’s a beginning there is something that can start thee See I’m actually using the brush now to make things happen But is this something is in the back ways and other stuff Thanks for a while to dry It’s like [an] [end] does it [look] beautiful? I’m just working with little bits that I seek in today something happening Okay, does that sort of give you an idea yes? So that’s what you’re going to be just playing at this point. You should get offended video Even [getting] [a] [riveting] [education] [equally] the hormone, Medica see Bobby I’m just playing this stuff that will happen. That’s good work and stuff that won’t work Okay, so these okay, so just Lost everything to you. [we] say you wanna start something to you And it’s freaking my heart Jeongmi


  • Cheryl64014 says:

    Very informative video!  Thank you, Leonie!  The only thing I would suggest is that whoever is filming this hold the camera very still next time (if there is a next time), and stop moving it in and out, and back and forth.  The focus should be on only one thing, and that is your canvas!   And since you didn't move the BASIC position of your canvas, moving the camera tends to make the viewer a little "motion" sick.  🙂

  • Michelle Joseph-Long says:

    I didn't find the movement in the camera too distracting, however, the background noise drove me nuts.  Whatever that pounding was, it was very distracting. 

  • Kristinadk says:

    i didn't mind the movements at all
    but i agree, very informative
    i would have lifted it up for the paint to leak down 

  • micheal john says:

    what medium do you use to get your paint so fluent

  • TheMelopeus says:

    It does not look that good after all…

  • chris99103 says:

    völlig daneben,sehr laut und nervig

  • Nine90Group says:

    What a hack way of doing abstract painting.

  • 55sarajevo says:

    nothing special.

  • Ellen Schulz says:

    I loved this! There is quite a bit of skill in pouring colors so that they blend rather than make mud. Thank you!

  • Leonie.e. Brown ARTist says:

    Thanks all. The medium is just plain acrylic with water. U must be careful not to water it down too much as it will break down the bonding medium in the acrylic.
    As stated this is only a way to START and abstract. This is not the finished painting but just to get rid of the white and overcome the fear of adding paint unto the canvass.

    The final abstract should be a work that includes all the principle of good design and technique. As an example of a finished abstract started with this method please have a look at my work at: http://lifeart.co.za/portfolio/abstract-2/abstract/

    My apologies for the noise and video. The demonstrations normally take place in situ (lifeart classes) and I ask one of the students to film while I do the demo. 

    Thanks for ur understanding and patience


  • Lisa-Lin B says:

    thank you so much! I am going to try and 'play' today–so much to learn!

  • Leonie.e. Brown ARTist says:

    Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate all input. Please remember that this is just a playful and fun way to START an abstract. What u saw on the video is not the final product. To see some of my abstract work (it can take up to a month to finish…pls go to http://www.lifeart.co.za)

  • Jim Francisco says:

    I love the techniques so cool and easy…

  • Lowe wonderfulday says:

    as bad as pollock's. just random pouring or random smearing. I guess the art world gets crazy.

  • diana popescud says:

    right… you just played, sorry for that wrong comment, your final results are great!

  • Bradley Goo says:

    Abstract and art itself is relative to the person, if you don't like it well oh well as in thanks for the feed back. arts made to have someone look at it, how its made is not as least as important as actually doing it and having made something with love and passion. beautiful for some one to look at. I think your art is wonderful @Leonie E. Brown Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration.

  • 55sarajevo says:

    Nothing special !

  • Da Royal General says:

    okay I see.

  • Fabienne78 says:

    no skills needed  for that! Terrible!

  • squamoza says:

    And they sell this for £100 lol

  • Bing Bang says:

    Who to heck is the guy who is pounding the drum in the background, tell him to take a brake.very nice painting. You are good.

  • MarieJacq Howe says:

    Leonie, I enjoyed your video and instruction very much. I'm you encouraged many budding artists to paint. It's about letting go and exploring art. Obviously, the ill mannered bitter angry commenters are just in a really unhappy existence. Their closed minds sit in a box without paint. : )

  • BeNice says:

    I know this is supposed to be a tutorial of the beginning of abstract art. But in my honest opinion this looks like no passion art. The way you apply your paint should express how you want the person to feel. Our energy reflects a feeling in the canvas and with the paint. If you treat them both with disrespect the art reflects negativity. I felt icky after watching this.

  • Desre Franco says:

    It's a very good video on getting started and letting the paint shapes "talk and guide" you through to more creative images, although I think you should point out that diluting paint too much with water (some says no more than 20%, some says no more than 30%) can compromise its adhesiveness. If you have a moment to spare it would also be good to see the correction of "and" to "an" in your main title. Lovely end products!

  • Bing Bang says:

    There are always some complainers no matter what you do, I liked it very much

  • Lina Bustamante says:

    Leonie; I was thinking to tell you about the noise, but you apologize about that, when you said be playful ,and when I see you play with the colours very relax, having fun, you get to the point for beginners fearful and perfectionist , it encourage me to start what I want to do for many years , I was watching these videos in order to learn, but the same time enjoy, have fun, relax , play and be creative…. for many years I avoid the school because of serious, tense ,and strict methods of teaching art. Keep teaching and share your work and knowledge . Thank you, thank you … now I am going to have fun with my paints .. yaiiiiiiiiiiiiii. love you

  • Leonie.e. Brown ARTist says:

    Hi Linda. Thanks so much fr ur lovely comments. There is some more videos on my website on how I do my own abstracts. Go look at www.lifeart.co.za

  • Brian McBride says:

    Guys, even abstract art has to have some order. You can't just slap some paint on a canvas and call it art and hope someone picks it up for hundreds of dollars.

    No, art takes more work than that. Sometimes, it's becoming more in-tune with how you feel, what your desire for a certain piece is, how the colors work together in unison or contrast. I am a firm believer that anything can be art if it is created to evoke an emotion or reaction in the viewer and the end result is that it does just that. However, I feel like some people try to take the easy way out and do something simple and say it's "art" just so they can get featured in a gallery.

    Sorry, guys. Art isn't easy. It's an emotional, physical, and mental challenge. There's a lot of barriers you have to break through in your mind and heart before you can begin to let what's in you flow out onto the canvas. And sometimes it takes days – even weeks! – before the piece evokes the right emotion. Sometimes, though, there are unexpected results that turn out beautifully.

  • Jan says:

    Hi Linda
    You commented on using water to thin but it doesn't look like plain water that you are using to thin the acrylic.

  • Mary Bell says:

    nul tout le monde peu le faire

  • Lambro says:

    so close your eyes and do w/e basically?

  • Miceal wilson says:

    "How to make abstract art" … facepalm

  • Thangavel Antonio Rushendran says:

    what is the type of paper used here?

  • milwaukeegregg says:


  • Lishko Vitaliy says:

    artist Lishko Vitaliy garbage draws. Who has seen?

  • Alison Francis says:

    gosh so many haters… art is art…. you were just sharing some tips. Keep it up.

  • Ashish Pathak says:

    i like your art.. ignore bad comments .. just make beautiful drawings .. feel art..

  • kathleen strode says:


  • rhett lillard says:

    art is not meant to be appreciated by 100% of the people who experience it. personally, I absolutely love this. for those who say there is no passion – just because it didn't take 100 hours to complete doesn't mean that it wasn't enjoyable to create. the fact that she is making videos and spreading her knowledge and techniques, no matter how rudimentary you may think they are, speaks volumes about her passion. just because you don't understand or appreciate this specific style doesn't mean that others don't either. this is meant to be a base to build upon.

    anyway, I think this is great. gave it a like and also subscribed. thanks for sharing! 😊

  • Jim Montgomery says:

    Sorcerer's apprentice.

  • Leonie.e. Brown ARTist says:

    As I tell all my students: Abstract art is much more difficult to paint then realism. When I do realism I have to copy and interpret what I see, and need to use skill and technical ability. There is some brilliant realistic and still life artists around. (for example David Leffel)
    personally I feel that moving towards expressionism or Abstract art becomes much more difficult as now you can only rely on skill and your knowledge of colour, technique, mark making, interpretation and design. You have nothing to refer to, nothing to help you accept, your knowledge and experience.
    A lot of my students ask me to teach them Abstract Art and VERY few succeed. They lose patience with the process and get frustrated with the fact that they have no image to relate to. Abstracts are difficult…but it can be learned.

    Any questions?

  • Sarah sarah says:

    Lovely to hear "lekker" and "sommer" in-between. Something those of us living elsewhere miss a lot.

  • Sandra Castro says:

    Is it oil or acrylic pait? and it is oil, with what medium you mix it

  • javodone says:

    This is non-art, notwithstanding all possible intimidation or excuses used to claim the contrary.

  • Raissa-Karolina De Mooie says:


  • Sofia Celeste says:

    me encanta, es lindo 😀😀😀😀😀

  • B Simensen says:

    This was awful. She mad a sloppy mess and couldn't redeem herself. She should have thrown it out and started again the minute she over saturated the first colors with water.

  • KAiSKAjO says:

    i put my pain on the paper, hoping the world can hear me one day

  • Jocy White says:

    How lovely and liberating to just play and let the creativity within flow. I truly appreciate this Artist and her freedom to share her love of art with the world. Kudos!

  • Judith Bosch says:

    It's interesting that quite a few people don't seem to read or grasp what you are saying in this video that it's the beginning of an abstract painting not the completed end. I found it very helpful since a lot of time it is hard to start but after deciding what colors to use to just put them down and start working with them. Quite a few apparently assumed at the end of the video was the final work of which, as you pointed out clearly, it was not. I do think a lot of them haven't watched other videos on abstracts or just don't like abstract painting so perhaps it's best they spend their time watching videos of other types of art work.

  • maria s says:

    This is a great first step for people who feel an urge to create but are hesitant because they have no idea how. This shows you don't have to have everything all planned out in advance and then never put paint to canvas because you always second-guess yourself. I'll call it the "Just Do It" approach. Do it, relax, see what happens. Everyone has the right to express themselves, and thank you for a video that shows novices a way to start.

  • Hot80s says:

    2:53 less is More
    i like it just like that

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