Music and abstract painting | Doris Charest | Skillshare

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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

Lessons in This Class

18 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. 1 Introduction to the class

    • 2. 1b Materials you will need

    • 3. 2 Making circles as a template for your exercises

    • 4. 3 Technique #1 How salt can express certain emotions

    • 5. 4 Technique #2 How masking can help express a certain type of emotion

    • 6. 5 Technique #3 Wet-in-wet technique can show flow, softness or more

    • 7. 6 Technique #4 Dry brush can show texture but also roughness

    • 8. 7 Technique #5 Spattering can show you happiness or scattered ideas

    • 9. 8 Technique Summary- Finishing touches to the techniques

    • 10. 9 Making rectangles as templates for your exercises- Introduction

    • 11. 10 How to express boldness

    • 12. 11 Music that makes you feel like a walk in nature

    • 13. 12 Expressing movement

    • 14. 13 Expressing softness is not easy

    • 15. 14 Expressing calm- how I did that

    • 16. 15 Expressing yourself on a bigger scale- Part 1

    • 17. 16 Expressing yourself on a bigger scale Part #2

    • 18. 17 Conclusion and summary to the course

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About This Class

Music and abstracts have a lot in common.  They are both influencers of emotions.  Music puts you in a particular mood and so does an abstract painting.  Your abstract painting can be influenced by music.  It can set the tone for your next painting.  The music will help you choose colours, shapes and lines. You can set up your music and let the music move you to paint what you feel in the moment.

In this course you will learn techniques that will help you paint emotions.  Music can create a mood. Music can help you choose a colours to match the mood for your next painting.

A classical piece of music will set a different tone than a piece of pop music.  Each has its own beauty and mood.  Each can trigger an emotion in you that will lead to a great abstract painting. By allowing yourself to be influenced by music you will create unique one of a kind artworks that no one else will have. 

Set yourself up to paint easy and fun abstracts using music as your muse or influencer.  In this step-by-step course, I will lead you to creating abstracts based on your emotions.  Those emotions will have been triggered by the music you listen to.   It is a great way to relax and just enjoy the painting process.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Doris Charest

Contemporary Fine Art Specialist and Instructor


Doris Charest - Biography


BED University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

BFA University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

MED University of Alberta, AB

Mixed media is Doris' favorite favorite form of painting . She loves exploring with textures, shapes, and a more contemporary look. Nature and the world around her inspires Doris. Her love of texture won her the Allessandra Bisselli Award and a First Place in a Still Life show with the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver. Look for Doris Charest's work in the American Magazine: Sommerset Studio (Summer, 2007) and British Magazine: Leisure Painter. Both feature a three pages of Doris' artwork. She won the Sylvie Brabant award in 2011 for her work in the art community. In 2013 she won First Place for he... See full profile

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1. 1 Introduction to the class: Welcome to my course using music to create abstracts by Doris saw they weren't going to have a lot of fun in this one. Just so you know, I have a BFA and a master's degree in visual art education. I have been teaching for years, both in-person and online. I love teaching art and sharing what I know with everyone. Are there is all about having fun. I want you to have fun creating, to learn a bit, and have fun at the same time, the music that I will be using will be copyright-free music only if you want to substitute my music with your own music, feel free to do this. Abstracts are about emotions and representing feelings. We are going to learn techniques that will help us represent those feelings. You're going to listen to some great music. The music will guide your meals. The music will lead you to creating great abstracts, music, fun and new skills. It can't get any better than this. We will learn the wet-in-wet technique, dry brush technique, sputtering and masking. These are all basic techniques that are fun and easy to use. We will learn to paint emotions because abstract art is all about emotion. So what you will do is listen to some music and then you will pay to what the music represents. And we will practice this before we get to the big project. So join me in using music to create abstracts by Doris shoving. 2. 1b Materials you will need: Here are the materials you'll need. You'll need watercolor paints. If you want, you can substitute with acrylics. Acrylics will do the same thing. You need a variety of brushes, small, medium, it all the panels on the size of surface you're going to work on. If you're working on large. If you're working on the large surface, makes sure you use large brushes. You'll need a container for water for washing your brushes, you'll need table salt, masking tape, a plastic cover for your table in case you get messy. Paper towels or rags. A pencil and eraser, and the lid of a container to make circles. This you're just going to use to trace. You don't need it for anything else. You can even borrow it from the top of your margarine container or your yogurt container. So that's all you need. Go get these items, get ready, and we'll start in the next section. 3. 2 Making circles as a template for your exercises: What we're going to do is learn the salt technique, the masking tape technique, the wet and wet technique, the dry brush technique, and the spatter technique. Now, I'm using watercolor for these techniques which you can use acrylics if you want, it doesn't matter. You can use whatever medium you choose. Now what we're going to do first is draw some circles. So let's watch the video. So in this first part, what we're going to do is choose something that will help you make those circles. You can use masking tape, beanie, ordinary team lives, whatever you choose. I've chosen to use a roll of ribbon because it's the right size. Lives like those work really well, but that one's a little too big. So you need five circles. That's the first step. So you want to make five circles. So here's one. And you trace them and you can arrange them whichever way you'd like. I'm going to arrange them in such a way that they look like they're tumbling. And later on, I'm thinking of using goals to create maybe an abstract. We'll see how it goes. So we're at number four. My role slipped, so it's going to be a little off. But just keep going. Remember the erasers were invented for a reason. They're wonderful. They help erase anything that you don't need. So if you wanted to tune up these circles, just take an eraser and make it the way you want it. But the first step overall is for you to make five circles. For this, you need your pencil, your paper, your eraser, and you can make them any arrangement that you use. You can choose to make them in any arrangements you want. So just do that now and we'll see you in the next part. In the meantime, what I'm going to do is tidy up my circles and then we'll meet you in the next video. 4. 3 Technique #1 How salt can express certain emotions: Now you've heard the music. Now what does that make you think of to me that something light. And I'm going to pick one of my favorite colors, purple. And I'm going to feel that circle with that color. Now to create that effect, I want something that will create a light and airy effect. And the perfect technique for that is salt. Now make sure you wet your surface first and then add the color. It doesn't have to be super even like that. But what you do, you take a little bit of salt and sprinkle it on top and then we have to let that salt dry. What happens is the salt pushes the water away and then it leaves on white mark. And it gives you that nice Li Si look. A lot like the music we just heard. When you are done listening to the music creates your circle with the salt. Choose the color that matches the music. For you. The color of, of I choose may not be the same as you. Keep that in mind. So just choose the color that best suits the music and then add a little salt on it. Remember, water first, color, second, salt, third, I find, here's the music again. Hi. There. 5. 4 Technique #2 How masking can help express a certain type of emotion: You've just heard the music for the second circle. What we're going to do is pick a circle That's a little further away from the first circle. If we happen to spill paint on the first circle or get it too close to two colors, gun kinda spilling to each other. So we're going to pick a circle that's far away. You're going to take small pieces of masking tape and glue them inside the circle based on the music. Again, think of how the music will influence, you know, these little marks. These should represent some of the music. You will also pick two colors that to you represent this music. It's sort of got a little bit abounds, but at the same time, it's a bit soothing. So how do you represent that? The way I do it may not be the same as you. So feel free to interpret the music in your own way. And when the masking tapes or on make sure they're on really well, just rub a little bit. Make sure they stick. Any parts that don't stick will not act as a resist. So what the masking tape does is it stops the pain from coloring that part of the paper. And we'll see that later. So step two, after the mouse continue is to wet the whole surface of the circle. So just make sure that the circle is really wet and then drop in the color. Now what color to you as soothing and peaceful? Just like the music was. To me, it's green. So I chose green for this circle. But you can pick whatever color you want. And just add the green. It doesn't even have to be, even. It can be irregular. And then pick a second color, and I've picked blue. So I'm going to add blue to the green. Remember that old wives tale that said blue and green should never be seen except in the washing machine. Well, they're wrong on love, blue and green together, they really work well. So here goes and makes sure that most of the surface is covered. And then we have to let that dry. So what I'm going to do now is put the music back on. And you can create your own circle with masking tape and your own colors. So here comes the music. 6. 5 Technique #3 Wet-in-wet technique can show flow, softness or more: You've just heard the music that inspired the third circle. So we're going to start by wetting the surface completely. So you wet the surface really well. Now look at it from the side. If it's shiny, it's not working out. You want it really wet. For this, you'll need three colors. So pick in your mind of three colors that represent this music. Now to me, this is light bouncy happy. So I want to pick light bouncy happy colors so yellow fits the bill, and so does orange. So I'm yellow and orange make me feel light and bouncy. Now the third color and you're going to choose after those, is the opposite color on the color wheel, and that's purple. So purple looks great with yellow and orange. It makes the yellow and the orange pop. Now put as many drops or as few drops as you want. I'm just going to trace the circle with my brush and create an outline. So now the water's going to spread the color or you can lift your paper like this and make it spread even more. And make it look like the moon in orange and yellow and purple. And then we let it dry. And that's it. That's as complicated as this technique is. So what I'll do now is I'll put the music back on and you can create your own circle. And in our favor. Hi there. Hi. There. 7. 6 Technique #4 Dry brush can show texture but also roughness: You've just heard the music for the fourth circle, and we're going to start on that one now. For this technique, it's called dry brush. So you'll make a puddle of paint in your on your land or what's usually Mrs. call a pallet and then you drag your brush. When you drag your brush like this gets called dry brush because notice we didn't wet the surface first. So it's very dry. So it's a dry surface and pretty dry brush. The paint just catches the bumps of the paper. You can use two or three colors for this if you like. I picked a brown and then an orange juice brown, two kinds of brown. And because this music made me think a lot of walks in the park or in the trees. So I insight to pick the brown to represent the trees and the comb. Because earthy colors are quite often considered calming colors. And I'm just going to finish this circle. It needs a little bit more. So I think what I'll do is just add another color. Notice the difference, the smooth surface of paint that's put on a wet surface and this is a dry surface you so you get a very dry, brushy surface. There's no other way to describe it as kind of just a crazy way to talk about it. But it's this call dry brush. So a little bit of black, that's very black, but it adds a little extra to the extra texture. So just do this. Now, this is your next assignment. I'll put the music back on and you can create your own textured dry brush surface. Here comes through music as possible. As soon as possible, as slow as possible. Actions such as possible. Serious serious question. As possible. 8. 7 Technique #5 Spattering can show you happiness or scattered ideas: And I say, Oh my God, my dad and I know you've heard the music that influence this circle. So what you're going to do is convert the rest of your paper up as much as possible. In your head while you're covering up around your circle. Think of the colors that go well with this song. Even take little pieces and trying hide small corners. You want to hide as much of the paper as you can. So there we go, there and there. Now what you're going to do is pick three different colors and make those colors represent the music. So here I cover up as much as I can. I've decided to print like orangeish brown color and nice pattern. So the trick to spattering is to fill your brush with paint and then tap on your index finger. That works really well. Or top on another brush. What you want to get is the bumps. So if you have more bones than what happens is you get more spatter. And the kind of bounce determines the kind of spatters. So be bound to the equals big spatters and little bounces equals small spatters. And here I've used orange, red, and purple. The other thing you can do is just add water. And that changes the look completely to depending on if you like that look. So see how the colors blend, where there's just water. So that's just a little mini tip for you, the lookout as part of the technique. So I'm going to put the music by Cong, pick three colors, but you really like that, represent those music. And it's your turn to fill the circle. So here comes the music. And a single discipline and onset of mass will be high. And then see these utilities. Small, homey, just like go lucky Athens dancing. Just foreign substances. Those are the best for me and see, you know how the app in addition. 9. 8 Technique Summary- Finishing touches to the techniques: So on some finishing touches for you. One of the things is you need to take off the mouse contains, so just gently pry off the masking tape and you'll see it leaves beautiful white marks. The shape of the masking tape will determine the shape of the mark. Sometimes the leaks under the masking tape if it's not pressed down a lot. But most of the time the masking tape resists and holds the paint at B. And that's lovely. You get that nice bouncy look, wants the weight. Shimmer is against the colors. See how it looks really bouncy and there's a nice edge around the pieces. I really like that, that looks good. That really represents the music for me. The other thing you need to do is take the salt off and just rub, rub gently and take it off. If you don't want. The salt, in theory is supposed to eat the whole into the paper. And then you have the nice soft look there, the dry brush look there, the resist there, and the spatter. Here you have five different techniques that are just great and will be really useful for you in the final project. Keep in mind, we're training ourselves to listen to the music and let the music inspire us. And that's the goal. So right now, let's move on to the next section where we will pick emulsions. 10. 9 Making rectangles as templates for your exercises- Introduction : In this section, we're going to paint the moon. First. You're only going to use two colors. You're going to listen to the music. And then you're going to paint that mood that the music sets. So there are five squares and we'll draw those first high. So this time, what we're going to do is make rectangles, five single rectangles, and each one will paint a different emotion depending on what the music tells us that emotion is going to be. So step one is just to make five rectangles using a pencil, and that's it. So do this now. And we'll see you in the next section. 11. 10 How to express boldness: Here my very first one, I'm going to interpret them. So to me that sounded a lot like a storm. And that's kind of the idea It gave me. So I'm going to start by wetting the surface of my rectangle. And I'm going to put in blue color. I really like blue and I use it a lot, but I think it suits this music. So I'm going to add the blue. And I'm going to fill the space with blue so it just keep adding. Notice how the water spreads the paint. Just because it's wet. Wherever it's wet, the paint will spread and I will fill that hole rectangles quite quickly. Just like this. It doesn't have to be even because the music had a lot of bounce to it and I don't think it was. So there's the drums and that's what I heard. So this is my interpretation of the music. I'm going to just put darker line around the edge, just so the emphasis is on that brushstroke. So now I'm going to put the music and I would like you to interpret the music. Feel it touches you. Okay. 12. 11 Music that makes you feel like a walk in nature: For a rectangle number 2. It's very soft and Peaceful, easy going. And that's what I want to portray. Something really mellow. So what colors do I use? I tend to like browns and oranges. So I'm going to use brown, earthy. It's like going on a nice walk in the countryside. Just a wee bit of red for the beat. Maybe splash of nature. I'm going to add just a wee bit, something that reminds me of nature. So I'm going to just do the splash thing and cover up a little bit so that I don't make a mess on my other squares. So here's my bid of nature. So it reminded me of a peaceful walk in nature. And I have the piece with the bid of nature in there. So it's no more complicated than that. I'll put the music icon and you can create your own mood according to the music. There. 13. 12 Expressing movement: And now for our third rectangle, you heard the music. So my interpretation, keep in mind, may not be the same as yours. I'm seeing a lot of movement here and a lot of actions. So that's what I want to create. I start with wedding down my surface and then making a base color on there and adding marks. So my favorite color is purple and blue. I love blue. So I want to create a little bit of that drama that I heard in the music. And I listened to it a little longer than what I played for you. And to me it sounded like lots of heart. Like I can't say hard edges, but because of the music really was smooth between one area on the next. But I like the differences. That's what I wanted to create. So I have drama at the top and I have really light areas at the bottom and little bit like that. Music we just listened to. I think I'd better stop here or I would lose that effect that I want. So now it's your turn. I'll put the music back on. And I would like you to interpret this music any way you feel it. I want you to interpret it. Any way you want the choices. You're probably as many interpretations of this as there are people. Read the syllabus and that was like the door. These are all separate maps. Smith wrote the sediment with all the salts. Don't know where exactly syntactically smoke is. His famous speech about in class. To teach I bands. Making everybody's right away are your ad not bad. 14. 13 Expressing softness is not easy: So now we're going to create our rectangle. We'll fill the square with water. And because this music was soothing and peaceful and a little bit of rhythm two, I'm going to make sure the paint is soft and blends well together. So we're going to start with brand, and I'm going to draw up some different colors in together like this little bit like what we learnt in the techniques earlier, but not quite the same. I'm still thinking of the music and I want it to really bounce. But in a quiet sort of way, if starts a little harder and then it's a little softer in some areas and I don't know, it's, I'm trying to pick up the melody there. And I don't know if I'm doing it, but this is how I feel it. So you have some sound, you have some quiet, and you have some sound again. So again, this is only my interpretation. You can interpret yours just the way you like it. So here we go. I'll put the music back on and you can interpret this music your way. Florence. So garage to the president, signs. 15. 14 Expressing calm- how I did that: Now you've listened to a bit of music. This is probably where we will agree to disagree because I find that music very relaxing and soothing. And that's what I'm going to paint. I'm going to paint something very relaxing and soothing. So I'm going to put some light earth tones there. And I'm just gonna make some comb marks. So, so the way you make your marks is a good way to determine how you feel related to that music. If you put in some really energetic marks, That's it shows. But these are very calming marks. And all I want to do is to represent the calm. I could sit there and listen to this music and it would relax me. Some of you. It would give you energy. Trust yourself. Pete, what you feel. So now I'm going to add some darker marks just to create a little bit of contrast because the music wasn't a 100 percent calm. There was a bit of energy in there. Even though it relaxes mean. Keep in mind that your interpretation is your interpretation. And you can interpret this any way you like. If you want it to interpreted as a romantic song, you could do that. Or if you want to interpreted as an energetic, it's your choice is whatever the way the music moves you. So I'll put the music back on and you can make your choices. 16. 15 Expressing yourself on a bigger scale- Part 1 : Hello, everyone. Hello. So we're talking about good afternoon. Now. This is the same. Here. I will let it dry. I've followed the music to my interpretation, and now I will let it dry and I will put the music. My icon started again. I'm not sure yet what I will, but all have decided by the time this is drawn. 17. 16 Expressing yourself on a bigger scale Part #2: No, the pieces try. So what we're going to do is listen to the music again and practice the stroke that I want to put it on there on this blank paper. Now the ideal color for blue and purple is a complimentary color. So bad color is orange. So bats, when I've prepared an orange color. But first we'll start with the music. Hello. All right. Okay. Now there comes a point where you would have to turn into an artery. These both, these columns are perfect. I think that actually the mark's work really well. But they're not strong enough. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to add another color. I'm going to add. When I use black, I always mix some blue in it. So I start with this. So it gets fatter here. Now the orange looks great. I have no issues with B. I can leave it. I think it works. There's nothing wrong with the double line. I'm just going to make it more dramatic. Dark. I like a little more excitement. Painting. This creates some excitement. So I'm going to go back and make sure that my orange slice Yes, a little more solid so it can touch here. I don't want it to touch the black here. And I want it to touch the black here. That's all I can think of right now. I didn't think I would like to make this line a little fatter. Just to create that transition and guide my eye a little better. I might make this line a little stronger, little more orange. I think I need to do the same with this line. These two lines right here. Now to me this is more interesting. I might even make this wider. This has more movement and got flow going this way. It's got flow going this way. So there's two angles. So I have an x composition almost. Abstracts don't need to be complicated. It can be very simple. It can be an interesting background with some marks on it. So this is just an example. Make sure you interpret your Vivaldi your way. You don't have to copy me. You just follow the music the way it is influencing you. I decided that this piece needed one more thing, so I spattered some paint on it, and I chose to only spattered dark. So I just thought I'd let you know because I did this off camera and I kinda like it. So it shows the breakup of the seasons. To me. That's it. I just wanted to show you this at the last minute. Here's another example and interpretation of Vivaldi's music guys turn up this piece at the same time as I did the other one. However, I didn't do it. What I do when I paint as I paint two at a time, simply because watercolor needs so much time to dry. So while the blue purple background was drying, I started this piece while still listening to the music. I thought I would try and interpret it in a different way from what I did that with the first one. So this one has a few more elements that are realistic. I have some leaf shapes. I have the flowing of the water. Because when I think of citizens, I think of flowing water and I kind of in my head, that's what I hear in the music. So I repeated the elements. Here. I have the leaf element repeated. And it's like water flowing through in the fall. So and it's carrying dirt and it's carrying debris from the fall. Here you can see how different interpretations can be. So you can see how different interpretations can be. In fact, I didn't plan this at all. It just kinda happened as I was playing the music. Same with the other one. Don't be afraid to do this project more than once. You follow your guys. See with the music brings to you, it's really fun and it's a great way to relax. You get to listen to your favorite music and you get to draw our hope better. Can it be? In the next section? 18. 17 Conclusion and summary to the course: Conclusions. Abstracts are about emotions and representing feelings. This is true if you look at all the great masters, abstract really creates emotions like joy, anguish, really dramatic emulsion. Now my best advice is practice, practice, practice. The benefit of those practicing is that you get to listen to some great music. The more you practice the skill, the easier it will get. This is a really fun way to paint. And I hope it brings you hours and hours of pleasure. Enjoy. And we'll see you in my next course.