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Question Reality in the Name of Abstract Art
When I was a teenager, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Question Reality.” I found that idea intriguing, if somewhat baffling. But as an avid reader and artist, I associated the concept with my favorite forms of escapism, because that’s what artists and writers do every day, to some degree of another: they look at reality, and ask questions about it, or at least what parts of reality are necessary to include in their own work.
In the case of artists, we tend to ask things like, “Do I need to include every tree and rock, every detail in my landscape paintings?” “Do I need to paintstakingly draw every feature in this figure study, or merely indicate it with a brushstroke or two?” And, “What would make this composition stronger?”
Often, the answers are more about line, shape, form and color. A field of poppies creates one large red shape rather than each flower depicted on its own.
In many ways, painters are editors; they edit out certain details to create a painting that works, regardless of how true it is to real life. Even representational artists do this because too many details can create a messy scene with no focal point. Abstract artists merely take that to the next level, going beyond the depiction of a realistic scene to create something entirely new. Talk about questioning reality!
Achieve Dramatic Abstract Art
In Beyond Realism, part 1, Brian Ryder demonstrates how to translate emotions inspired by a poppy-filled landscape into an abstract painting, along with all the painting techniques needed to get comfortable with working abstractly.
In Beyond Realism, part 2, he takes those concepts and develops them, with several sketches in various mediums that explore the subject of landscapes, making the editing decisions and exploring shape, color, texture, and more. Then, he demonstrates an abstract art composition from start to finish, creating a dramatic painting in acrylic and oil pastel.
Preview Beyond Realism, Part 2 now to see how Brian uses a series of watercolor sketches to develop his ideas for abstract art compositions.
“Another great video by Brian! Love to see the many ways he approaches the painting. Great advice about abstract painting, line, color, form, and texture. Now off to try it!” – AC