How To Paint An Abstract Painting 1

How To Paint An Abstract Painting

Art is a form of expression of your interest, love, or passion, and this tutorial on how to paint an abstract painting will help you express your feelings using various paint colors and a canvas. It is a fantastic skill and imaginative way of letting out our passion for colors and shapes. 

15 Abstract Painting Ideas
15 Abstract Painting Ideas

Most importantly, it is our way to express how full our imaginations in our heads are, most especially in art as an abstract painting. Let me ask you. Have you tried working with an abstract painting? If not, why not? There are so many ways to learn how to paint an abstract painting.


Painting may be intricate for some people, especially if you don’t know where you should start. You will keep asking yourself, how to paint an abstract painting? How will I start this? Where should I start? What should I use? Which painting medium are you comfortable using? What is the best painting medium to use for abstract painting? Are there factors to consider to create a “good” abstract painting?

how to paint an abstract painting
Abstract Painting Ideas

How Do You Paint Abstract Art?

Painting an abstract is very difficult at first, but it makes it easy and step by step; sure, you will know how to paint an abstract painting and enjoy the process big time! So now, In this article, you will surely know how to paint an abstract painting. Learn it step by step, and make sure you’re learning it the easiest way. Also, what things or mediums should be used when doing an abstract painting?


What are the things you might need to know before and after doing an abstract painting? What are the things necessary to make it right and beautiful to be so pleasing to your viewer? Do you want to know how to paint an abstract painting like a pro? Are you willing to learn how to paint an abstract painting? Great! Let’s begin!


In painting abstract art, exploring with freedom is a must. You might need to explore more on your color selection, shapes, pattern, texture, etc. Abstract art can also be pleasing by using some spaces and value. Some abstract artists use their skills and ability with colors and textures for their best visual strength. This creates a different composition because the artist depends on these elements to make art.

how to paint an abstract paiting
Abstract painting ideas – oil painting

The essential thing when doing art is your expansive imagination and ideas. It may be wild, familiar, raw, vintage, or anything else. After all, it’s your very own art, and nobody can control what you want. Most Importantly, it comes from the bottom of your heart.


Painting with feelings and passion for doing something may also help you do more. You should also think about why you are doing this painting? Why should you paint? The purpose of doing it. Does it drive you to be a productive person? Or does it help you relax when you are stressed out? Does it make you happy, so you’re making it your hobby or work?


Easy Steps On How To Paint An Abstract Painting


When starting an abstract painting, let’s focus first on your imagination and creativity so you can follow these easy steps to begin. Once you have decided which painting medium you will be working in, it will help you plan your painting session ahead of time, so plan it beautifully.

how to paint an abstract painting
Connecting dots ideas

Connecting 7 dots


You may start by connecting dots, precisely seven dots. You will dot your surface seven times and start connecting them with any pattern, texture, colors, or even marks you want. Anything that comes out of your mind first. Remember, your painting, your very own ideas!


Using non-dominant hand


According to studies and research, some benefits of using one’s non-dominant hand are ramped up creativity and brain training for increased brain health. This also depends on the person who paints because some research said that it sometimes depends on what hand you are comfortable painting with.

how to paint an abstract painting
Alter the surface of your canvas – abstract painting ideas

Alter your surface


Changing everything on your surface will make your abstract painting unique and special. In abstract painting, your freedom to do something more on your surface will make a difference. Do some sudden movement with your hand using a brush; it is okay. Use your freedom.


Use only one color and only one tool.

This means using one color you like and only one brush for you to start your very own abstract painting. This will help you concentrate on one instrument first while learning the painting step by step. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.


Close your eyes


Closing your eyes or blindfolding will set your hand free and will help you paint using your mind’s eyes instead of your own eyes. It will also help you release any ideas with your hand without seeing it, and this will surprise your own eyes after removing the cover.

how to paint an abstract painting
abstract painting ideas for beginners

What Is The Best Paint To Use For Abstract Painting?




For beginners, acrylic paint is the best and a pretty good painting medium. Making it the best option for you to begin with. Beginners use it because it quickly dries and has a high permanence rating, so they’re most likely to stay on your surface in the long run. Paints of low permanence are called fugitive colors, so these are the paints that you should avoid.


The second will be watercolors. It is very beginner-friendly and a very convenient tool for painting. It is also easy to use, especially with kids who want to learn painting at a very young age. This helps improve their creativity because watercolors are easy to clean and have different colors to play with.


Oil Paints


Third, oil paints have vibrant pigments with a medium of drying oil as its binder on your surface. Its commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil, etc. 


Many artists love using different oil paints because of their pigmentation and effects on the surface. It also stays wet longer compared to acrylic paint. The best part about oil paints is their flexibility and ability to blend with other colors.

how to paint an abstract painting
Pastels – abstract painting ideas



Lastly, pastels are also a medium in the physical form of a stick. It consists of powdered pigment and is very pigmented and an easy to blend painting medium.

Most kids and children also love pastels more than watercolor because of their velvety, creamy texture and vibrant colors that are very easy to blend, even just using your fingers on your surface.


What Makes A Good Abstract Painting?


For a person that doesn’t paint but can appreciate painting, here are a few factors to consider when identifying an excellent abstract painting:


  • Painting Technique Used
  • Paint Consistency
  • Content From the Spectator’s Point Of View
how to paint an abstract painting
Moisture texture surface for abstract painting ideas

The technique used. You can say that an abstract painting is good by looking at how the artist made it so realistic and beautiful. Some artists love mixing compositions, while some artists only use one composition but use a different vibe.


Second, consistency. An artist always comes with a different attack on painting styles when doing artwork. Each of these styles and techniques sticks to its very own style and stays on the painting’s consistency.


Third, compositions. An artist who plays with different compositions is most likely to do a good painting. This is because he has the most playful thoughts to begin with. Using other lines, shapes, colors, patterns, textures, spaces, and values will look good on your painting, especially when using and mixing them with some technique of your own.

Fourth, meaning or content. A painting shouldn’t just be art with different elements, designs, and compositions, but also it should have feelings and meaning. Think about what and why did you make this kind of painting? Or how was it made? Why did you make it or what to make?


It is imperative to know that the painting has content and meaning, most especially if you plan to make it for the public’s eyes. They should also know what you want them to know about your painting as it was made out of your creativity and feelings.


how to paint an abstract painting
Abstract painting ideas to inspire you

Popular Painting Techniques For Beginners

If you’re most comfortable with acrylic paints, several techniques improve your painting skills aside from abstract painting. I’ve compiled popular painting techniques below with easy-to-follow instructions ideal for beginners and advanced artists who want to level up their painting game.


Once you have the necessary painting supplies, especially if you are more comfortable with acrylics, the following painting techniques will help you improve your previous skills.


  • Washing


When working with acrylic paints, the wash technique is similar to the watercolor “wash” technique. This happens when you dilute your acrylics with water to create wash colors on your painting surface. This watered-down technique is best used if you plan to apply transparent or translucent colors on your canvas or chosen support.


However, remember that acrylic paints tend to stay permanent on the surface once dried, unlike watercolors. If you want to create various colors and textures, you can mix dry brush and wash techniques simultaneously.

According to Pinot’s Palette: The wash technique is an easy way to create a watercolor effect for your painting’s background. Not only does an acrylic wash make your painting look like watercolor, it also somewhat mimics the behavior of watercolor if the paint-to-water ratio is right. Acrylic and watercolor paint will never, ever behave the same way, but a wash can do wonders make acrylic paint more watercolor-like.

how to paint an abstract painting
dry paint brush technique – abstract painting ideas
  • Dry-Brush


The dry brush technique allows you to apply your paint on your support or painting surface using paint and dry brush diluted in water. This creates a strong current of hues on the surface of your canvas. The painted area is visible with uneven lines due to the absence of water and soft edges.


This effect is done purposely to create a unique painterly effect. The dry brush technique allows you to create motion and build the texture of lines on your painting surface.


  • Splattering


The splattering effect is highly recommended, not just for acrylic painting mediums. Still, you’ll work to create a unique splattering impact of paint on the working surface with almost any painting medium. With your fairly wet paintbrush, flick/splatter paint into the chosen area of your painting surface.


This technique creates a stunning abstract landscape and starry night effects. You can also use the method to add texture to your artwork.

  • Stippling


For most artists who draw on their support before working on a paint application, the stippling technique is simple and frequently used when drawing but can be used when painting using acrylics.


With the stippling technique, you’ll need to build an assemblage of tiny dots, which creates the imagery to showcase texture and a clear view with gentle variations of hues from your canvas.


  • Palette Knife


Acrylics and palette knives are a perfect combination. If you work with acrylics, try using a palette knife to create an artsy painting. While it can be an advanced or intimidating skill, you’ll find it more comfortable and convenient to manipulate the texture once you have tried working with palette knives and acrylic.

how to paint an abstract painting
Palette knife abstract painting ideas – Water lilies

Start by scrapping a tiny amount of paint on the canvas and work on the surface. Practice and explore artfully how you can spread your color, like spreading icing or buttercream on your cake, and you’ll get familiar with this technique faster and confidently.


  • Dabbing


The dabbing technique allows you to create a unique texture for your paint application on the painting surface. For instance, you can use a sponge corner, paper towel, or any element to dab on your colors. This technique allows you to create artistic sponge-dab colors on your painting surface.


The dabbing technique adds movement and texture to your artwork. For example, using the dabbing method will perfectly capture the movement and texture of the scenery you are trying to reciprocate using your painting style.


  • Detailing


Whenever you add details, it’s best to use a fine tip small brush. This allows you to create and explore ways to apply glisten or white on your painting subject’s eyes, be it a portrait or animal’s eyes or any details that require adding a layer of life to your painting surface.

how to paint an abstract painting
Painting techniques for abstract painting ideas – materials to use


Essential techniques For Building Up Your Painting

To help you develop your painting skills and be more comfortable with what you are working with, you’ll need consistency as you move forward. The aforementioned techniques allow you to get familiar with groundwork or painting fundamentals to establish your painting style.

Once you hang on to them, you can transition from simple techniques to more challenging and complicated ones. This helps you level up your painting skills and confidence moving forward.


  • Glazing


Glazing incorporates a matte medium into your paint to create a luminous scene. To fully understand this technique, you’ll need to create a mixture of your acrylic paint into a little matte medium and start applying your paint in light or thin layers to build complex and rich colors.


  • Underpainting


The underpainting is all about creating the image sketch through paint. Traditionally, this is done by working with colors compared to your target palette or the finished artwork. Work with your underpainting by using opaque colors of acrylics to cover all evidence of your underpainting completely.

You can also let several parts be shown through a dimensional painting effect. This is based on the artist’s preference and style. If you are more comfortable showing some parts of your underpainting, you can do so.


  • Paint-in-blocks


Paint-in-block is an excellent technique for newcomers. This is like tracing the image and separating every tone or color into various shapes. You can create a palette and paint the figures like you are working with a do-it-yourself paint-by-number-piece.


It’s ideal if you work with monochromatic hues or explore various colors. It’s all about the artist’s imagination, preference, and unique style to express their artistic perspective.

how to paint an abstract painting
Layering technique to create an abstract painting
  • Layering


The layering technique is a well-known painting technique where you can use some of the methods mentioned when building your painting surface. However, you can also work on your surface by layering paints over each other. That means you will be making paints from underneath going up.


The best way to get familiar with the layering technique is to paint using big blocks of hues, like washes, and add more refined layers as you move forward.


Techniques: Color Mixing

When it comes to mixing your acrylic paints, the best and most effective way is to use a palette knife. Once you get comfortable with the process and get familiar with color combinations, you can explore various techniques. In the meantime, you can work on these two techniques to help improve your painting skills:


  • Build Family Colors


Working with your family tones or colors can help create subtle varieties of colors in your artwork. Whether you work with varying shades of skin tones, having the color or harmonious tones pre-mixed can help you streamline the procedure.

how to paint an abstract painting
Learn about family colors for your abstract painting ideas
  • Partial Color Mixing Before Application


Unlike pastels, where you mix colors directly on the painting surface or support, acrylics are different. You can initially mix your colors using a palette knife and thoroughly mix them on your canvas later on, or if you want to. This gives you a fascinating effect once colors are applied to the surface of your working canvas.


Is Abstract Painting Easy?


When it comes to creating arts and painting, the word “abstract” has always been a debatable topic. Some will say that abstract painting is easy. While others will argue with that and say that abstract hard is by far, or any record, is the hardest. Creating your abstract painting is not easy as it requires a unique approach and inspiration in doing so.


In public art, you’ll need to position your canvas and work with your brushstrokes to create stunning visual artworks that can be hung on walls or be a great candidate for the next big exhibit. Abstract painting is both comfortable and stiff.


As a newcomer in the world of painting, you must not be overwhelmed with the thought of creating your next abstract painting. Since there are limited definitions and rules associated with this painting style, more and more artists and expectations can appreciate the abstraction process.


At some point, several simplistic designed paintings are tagged abstract artworks for the sake of selling them for exorbitant prices.

how to paint an abstract painting
Abstract surface structure ideas

As an abstract artist, you can:


  • Attempt to combine representations of ideas, philosophies, stories, dreams, or feelings into their artwork.
  • Attempt to create and not allow the ideas, feelings, philosophies, dreams, etc., to showcase or express their work. This gives them a mechanical or automatic command of their neurons.
  • Try to be a neutral vessel transparent to viewers to imagine your plan while looking at your artwork or painting. This allows someone to hear, anticipate, feel, witness, or view your vision or schedule inside your painting surface.
  • Have a specific plan to move you, act, smile, think, pray, disgust, or manipulate your feelings while looking at the abstract painting.


Abstract painting is an art where you are not trying to be tagged as realistic. Understanding the message behind every abstract art can be challenging and reasonably comfortable. What you need is to wander with your imagination and open your mind.


The basis of abstract art is to allow oneself to break the barriers and recognize beyond the normal. It requires you to see beyond the physical surface of the artwork and what the eyes see.


Final Words

Painting abstract art can be challenging for some until you’re there and ready to take your acrylics and palette knives or paintbrush into action. If you want to be comfortable working with various techniques, the first step is to motivate yourself to work today and be consistent with your schedule. 


To improve your skills means to work on them more diligently than ever. Let us know how we can help you further or if there are topics or questions you have in mind!





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