Very first Energy Painting. Energy 1. Created 2016.

Skye’s Four Steps for Creating Abstract Artwork

I believe that anyone has the ability to create a beautiful abstract painting in their own style and bring a new form into this world. The practice of abstract art making takes determination, courage and humility because the artwork will not always come out to your vision and you may have to paint many more times until you reach the “Yes!” moment. I will give you my four steps into how to begin creating abstract artwork.

I had always been creating artwork since day one. When I attended the University of Hartford art school my whole idea of painting changed, and I was inspired by my peers around me. I struggled at first to find my artistic mark because I was so focused on what everyone else was creating. My teachers said my paintings looked “forced” and that I was more so illustrating rather than painting. Believe me, I love Illustration, but as an artist I am more drawn to abstract artwork because there is mystery that allows the viewer to create their own world.

After hearing my teacher’s comments and continuing to get stuck on what I wanted to paint next, I said to myself, let me try something so different. So, I went to the art store that day and bought some supplies including Oil Pastels, Watercolors and large paper. As soon as I got back to the studio, I laid a piece of paper on the ground and just started drawing random shapes with the oil pastels. The finished drawing was a simple-looking to me then, but now I believe it is a masterpiece. I showed the drawing to my professor/mentor and he LOVED it. After that feeling of creating with no intention or idea became my strength and I continued by incorporating watercolor. This painting above is the first ever “Energy Series” painting.

Now you ask, how can I create abstract artwork?

Here are my four steps into how to begin creating abstract art:

  1. Grab a drawing material, to begin. This can be a pencil, pen, charcoal, oil pastel or something else that you can freely draw with. And a 11 x 17 piece of mixed media paper is a great start!
  2. Put on some of your favorite music, OR some instrumental music such as classical, jazz or lo-fi and close your eyes.
  3. Listen to the music, with your eyes closed and pencil in hand on the paper. Start by drawing to the beat of the music and try to draw all over the paper and just not a small section. I know it is harder with your eyes closed but try and feel the edges without opening your eyes. I found this is easier with your eyes closed and you may surprise yourself when you open your eyes to the new image!
  4. Open your eyes and see what you have created! Take in the image and rotate the drawing around to see if you can find some personal form within. I always find birds and creature-like figures in my artwork, and you may find some images completely that are your own!

Last step! Email me about your experience with this practice. Did it help you find a new way of art-making? Did it help you learn to be more spontaneous? Or was it just fun? Also, send me a picture of your artwork. I’d love to see it! Happy creating!