Sunday, 27 November 2011

Abstract Painting in Oil – a Benchmark for a Painter

The Thought Process by Teodora Totorean SOLD
There is a saying that you are not truly a painter unless you created an abstract painting in oils. I can’t help but ask myself why did “abstract” and “oil” become the benchmarks for a skilful painter. Is it because oil is a difficult medium and abstract is a challenging subject? 

Although I consider myself an amateur and I paint mainly in acrylics, I quite like oils too, as they are fluid and vibrant in colours and you can create spectacular effects. Because of the slow drying process, you can correct the mistakes quite easily, you can introduce various shades at different drying stages and once dried the painting looks stunning.  Because I don’t have the luxury of a studio as I am using my spare room for painting, I turned to acrylics - they are cleaner and sans odour.  I also find them more suitable for a spontaneous style of painting, especially when I want a quick result.

Regarding the abstract theme, while many people are sceptical on the artistic merit of such a painting, the critics are on the artist side.  In theory, you can only paint a line on a canvas, give it a meaningful title and you created an abstract painting. However, the reality is not that simple. You still have to have some knowledge of colour combination, techniques and composition in order to create a valuable piece of art.  And if you do decide to paint a line and call it “The Despicable Line between Consciousness and Ordination” you still have to back it up with some credentials and knowledge about the art world, past and present.

If you are not sure where to start in creating your abstract paintings, I recommend the below book. It is packed with step by step projects, tips and inspiring pictures. Although the medium used in the book is acrylic, I am sure you can try other types of media like oils, tempera, gouache or watercolours. Experimenting is the key and the book gives you plenty of ideas to try. Good luck!

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