How to paint an Abstract Painting inspired by nature. | Clair Bremner | Skillshare

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How to paint an Abstract Painting inspired by nature.

teacher avatar Clair Bremner, Professional Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 5m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Mark Making

    • 3. Beginning layers

    • 4. Building Up Depth

    • 5. Creating Areas of Interest

    • 6. Focal Point

    • 7. Pulling it All Together

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About This Class

Learn how to use nature as inspiration to create an abstract artwork in acrylic. I am a professional artist based in Melbourne and I have been painting full time since 2013.

I will be demonstrating how to create a pleasing abstract artwork in real time, I will also talk about colour mixing and using a limited palette, however if you would like to learn more about colour mixing make sure to watch my other videos.

Today, I will show you how to create a pattern library to use as inspiration for mark making while you are building up layers in your artwork. I will also demonstrate a few very simple techniques that you can use to create texture and interest to your artwork.

Meet Your Teacher

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Clair Bremner

Professional Artist


Hello, I'm Clair.

I am full time artist based in Melbourne, Australia. I specialize in abstract expressionist landscape paintings. I have been teaching in person workshops to art students for a few years and I am excited to be able to bring some of these techniques and lessons into the online world. 

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1. Intro: Hello and welcome to my school share class today. I'm going with demonstrating some techniques that I like to use to create an abstract artwork inspired by nature. To begin with, I'm gonna be talking briefly about the colors that I'm using. If you've watched any of my previous videos, you'll know that I always recommend working with a limited palate. And she's in the colors that you were going to use before you begin painting. In this project, I'll be using the following acrylic point. However, you can use whatever colors will brand that you haven't harm. I have titanium white, they locally Quinn equity and burnt orange and nickel eyes are yellow. Thes colors make up a modified prom repellent red, blue and yellow and can be used to make a number of other issues. The white is essential for creating a difference in value to help with contrast. So whatever colors you choose, I recommend you definitely include what Ivory created a simple color wheel to see what colors I can make with this modified primary combination. As you can see, I've experimented with various color mixes and I'm able to create a range of saturated yet subtle colors. I'd recommend having a play with colors before you begin an experiment with different red, yellow and blue combinations to see what you can come up with and a familia saw. Familiarize yourselves. Advice it. Color theory. You can see that I have a good range of colors I can choose to work with. And because they are all mixed from the same basic primary colors, I'll work together harmoniously. The most important thing is to experiment and play around and get used to mixing your own colors, because the more you do this, the better and more confident you'll become in creating your are needed color palettes. So I recommend having a bit of a play around with this before you actually progressed, painting finished pace. 2. Mark Making: Yeah, sorry. It's part of that project is that we're gonna be creating what I call a patent library again. This is going to help you later on. When you start compiling your at work, it's going to give you inspiration on marks. You can make patterns that you can use shake that you can add to your artwork and also gives you a chance to sort of explore different patterns and shapes before you begin. Sorry, but what I want you to do is just gather up some inspiration. Now, what you're looking for is pattern and shape. So you can either use furnace that you've taken yourself these simple images of some botanical stuff that I had from some old books. You can go online Web sites such as Pinterest, for example, is a great place to get inspiration. You can also scavenge around your yard and find interesting twigs or interesting bits of foliage or sticks, anything that you like the shape of. And you like the pattern off and that you find interesting. Sorry, but common that women. Now what we're gonna be doing is using a selection of different sized brushes again. Have a look what's in your own art supply stash. There's really no rules here. You don't have to do exactly what I'm doing. The idea is to have a bit of a explore and apply on your own and create your own sort of visual language. Sorry, I just got a selection of some that round brushes and flat brushes spatula and these pictures here. Like, for example, I really like the shape of this lily part that's in here. And so I'm gonna try and replicate Batch is actually a probably flower here. I've got this further here because I really like the shape of these leaves that are in the background. I also actually really like patent that this this area here creates this summer more flowers are what the stems that we these hard viscous. I found this page really interesting because I really liked these round clusters in different sizes and even these little checks in here. This is our actually a cross section off a bud of a flower. Um, it's a psychopath. This thing one here. I really like these patents here. This irregular, so spotted passion, the way that it goes into lines as well I really liked that. So I'm going to use some of these as my inspiration, and I'm just gonna create a page on this watercolor paper of different patterns. Sorry. I'm just gonna think I might just do it in the get, like a little pellet that I can use from day. I'm just gonna use some of the fluid acrylics you can use. Anything you lock there. I like the flu with the clicks for this technique there because they work similar to ink. As you can see, they really quiet fluid, obviously, and liquid. And so you can create really sort of organic, watery kind of shapes with them. Sorry, it's gonna water this down a little bit. So, for example, about type this pattern here. I wanted to sort of replicate this dot patent and see this some larger dots is some smaller dots. It's sort of been a regular shapes as well. They're not sort of perfectly round it. Some little ones clustered next to the weak ones as well. Some just little play around creating a similar pattern to that as well. And then if you look down around here, this like, really little visions as well, so I could sort of experiment. We'd like the size and the scale of these shapes as well. And you'll find that once you start adding in some patterns like this, your own sort of imagination will start to sort of come out like I consider, maybe make some really large patterns with shape, with brush. Maybe I could see what it's like to sort of just have the outlines of the dots in a similar patent that as well you never wanted to leave on top being explored some areas. Let's have a look at the other Panthers, but I really like the wide that these closed buds look. See how there's, like a bit of a rounded shape in the guards on two like a long stem. So I could replicate that by using my brush like they say, actually, probably bit longer, actually, really more like this one here. So, like a bit of around a top and then along stem around a top long list name. So they saw this crate like really not shapes. And again I can experiment, making some small ones. I can also change my brush. So, for example, I might try with a flat brush and see what happens when I do the same thing with a flat brush that's creating more of a rounded edge instead of appointed edge. The rand brushes credit that point on top words. This is more rounded. I could also might even try and create some of these is petal shape here as well. A little bit more ward off some of the ones that are sort of down here a little bit more still curved in on themselves to So maybe I could try to do some of those on a cluster of um See, I really liked it. So that's like, really, really pretty, that sort of shape. So what else have we got? Some. Something like this, for example, not change again to an even smaller brush. I want to recreate this sort of modular kind of look same, holding my brush back quite far because I wanted to be lose. I don't want it to be, too Her sauce. I just wanna call it an experiment a little bit, please. With the shapes on, the really good thing about this fluid acrylics as well is when you add a bit of water to them. They become very similar to on watercolor. Sequencing is a bit of believing and really interesting things happening. See, I like that shape on its arm, but I'm gonna do it again. But this time I am actually going to be vary the size of them a little bit more. We also see what happens when I actually had those little centers in See some crazy, really nice, almost like, um, Seaport kind of passion. It's like a bunch of even, like torture circles here, smaller and tighter. Experiment with what that looks like. There's like Lauren ships, If you look like quite closely and he has said is like really nice fine lines. I'll be good to put some of these down here as well, just to add to my passion library you some of different lengths because this sort of visual sort of library of MOX and passions and shapes we can refer back to later on. So when we had having a bit of trouble deciding what we're gonna do next to add some interest to our abstract at work, we can refer back to this and it will help us decide what to do next and where to add some interest. So I'm gonna experiment with this seaport shape as well that I wanted to replicate. So it's Connor, and I'm not going for, like, an exact copy. But I am sort of coming up with some ideas as to how I could use this shape in my artwork in an interesting way. Even, just I think using these round shapes so much of these, but not connected, could be interesting. Or instead of leaving them open, make them to stock shapes. Now, another pattern that I was actually looking at a lot. I don't have any in front of me here, but it was on these patterns from some fungus that I found really interesting as well. So it kind of it was, like, almost like lice. And there was always, like, loops of fine pocket. Someone's like other cells, life sort of patterns. Some of them will begin. Some of them was smaller. So I'm just gonna pop that that idea down on my page as well. Kind of one, Ash, You know, Ballooned acting to lock in a regular sort of shape, please. But, you know, you can Once you start getting some ideas, you can just continue to fill in the Patris. You know, different shapes that you kind of think all when on your own without any inspiration. So, you know, for example, nice um, leaf shapes like these It is these auctions, for example, like they sort of Twiki, these are just ride out. I think that pine so I could sort of use that to create some marks as well. Now, I'm obviously inspired by these organic shapes, But if you are, you know, inspired more by you know, geometric shapes than you can create. You know, your more obvious geometric top of patterns like triangles, circles, harsh edges if you wanted to. And there sometimes it's just nice to sort of just see what shapes the brush can make as well. So, yes, I recommend that you spend a little while just creating that a page or two pages, three pages off this card of this kind of passion making, and, you know you could you could use other things for exactly. Besides the point the point you can use pencils never wanted to adding Athena line shape, even just some school mocks um, there's some organic circle shapes with pencil. I can You can use a pen. I don't know this pin wax. Yes, it does work. You can use this to have some smaller shapes and things as well. Um, that's coming, j maybe conduce, um, loose Contra leaf Carter passions and things. Okay, so the shape laja. So I have a big play around, and once you have confidence with your mark making and you've created some patterns and some shapes that you think you'll be out of use later when you have finished at work, then you'll be ready to move on to the next step. 3. Beginning layers: Okay. Sorry. Now we're going to actually create a abstract painting. Now you want upon the surface? This is just a campus. But you can use Piper if you want to. You want to make sure that you have everything that we've created beforehand. Need you? So I've got my color palette here. I've got my mark library. You want to make sure that you've got a palette, something to mix. Mix your colors on. I'm just using a couple of plastic price. That's what I had handy. You need some water, a good selection of Russians on the culture pints, and we're going to get started now. You don't need to create an artwork exactly the same with mine. So if you want, you can. But, you know, I recommend watching through this tutorial and then using that inspiration to Then come and sit down and do your own work. Uh, because I'm gynecologist be making it up as I go along, and there really isn't many steps involved. It's just a matter of that. Putting down colors and putting down patterns into your happy with the outcome. But there are a few things that we need to talk about along the way in regards to value contrast color, etcetera, etcetera. But to stop, we'd were just starting to create some vice Myers. Now canvas. So get myself a flat brush and I'm gonna start weaves a combination of the say labeling something about their just to make sure see what I'm doing. And the needle is a yellow, and I'm gonna put some of the titanium watch Dana's Well, okay, so I'm gonna stop I just creating some areas of cholera in various places. So I'm not gonna worry too much of at composition and things like that at the my match. Just going to use these two colors to mix up some different combinations. I'm gonna added 18 fairly randomly even blending the Mr Guard. I'm not a big fan of blending are prefer to has some of my brush strokes showing so I don't like the flames to match it. Some people, after they fans of lending, they can see that I'm having you watch every now and then. Just change the value of the colors that I'm using because I don't want them all to be the same value. I want to have some dark areas in some lot areas, some transparent areas, some areas that are a bit more when you create a really interesting surface. Make sure all of the White House coverage you don't really want any any what areas showing through at this stage. Okay, we're gonna let that dry. So now that this layer is dry, we need to stop building up some areas now, because these kinds of transparent you see that if we add some texture, the colors underneath show through. But what's the edge? What, and no longer shows through so you can play with the transparency off the colors that you're using to create different areas of interest. Now, to encourage the transparency is go. You can add a bit of water to a close and blin judge these areas as well to see how that has softened. Soften the edges of that DACA area, and you can do it with the more paint colors as well. You can create suffer soft to sort of areas. If you don't want to have these harsh lives, you can do this as long as the paint store, which you can manipulate the edges once, is dry. That's not gonna work once it's dry, it's dry, but you can use these techniques to sort of build up areas of interest. I've also got some. This is like a really dry brush here, and I could use this to experiment. Creating that it mocks. Thinks it's scratchy soda. Mama, I can use this to sort of build out an area texture on. If I get pencil as well, I can actually scraped back into these and using some of the marks from your mock library, you can scratch back into this and correct texture. Sorry, I'm just gonna let the camera roll. I may end up speeding up. Areas are slowing down areas of the video, depending on what I'm doing. But I'm just gonna get you guys to watch me as I build up this pointing. Um, I will comment as I feel like I need to you, but just sit back, enjoy and watch, and we'll see what happens in the end 4. Building Up Depth: - way , - way , - way - way , . 5. Creating Areas of Interest: - way , - way , way. 6. Focal Point: - way , - way , - way . 7. Pulling it All Together: - way , - way .