2015 Topic 21: Abstract Art
Hello everyone, Pavla here with a simple trick to make easy abstract backgrounds. Before I discovered mixed media, I used to do a lot of “geometric” paintings. Now, I like to return to this style every now and then. What I like about the technique I’m about to show you is that you pretty much don’t know what you are going to end up with until the last moment when the ugly duckling turns into a swan.
For this technique, I will be working on four backgrounds at once. Why four? I’ll explain later - this technique requires a bit of pre-planning but for now, just trust me. I started by stamping four sheets of white cardstock with four different stamps. I used stamps from: JOFY32, EDY09, and Gentleman Plate 4. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it will be covered, so it doesn’t really matter. Instead of stamping, you can use some book paper or washi tapes. I like to start in black and white, if you use colour in this step, you’d better have your colour scheme thought out at this moment.
Next, I applied some paints to the paper. I used a Gelli Plate – but only because it was sitting on my table. Feel free to use a brayer, a paint brush or your fingers. You can even use sprays. I worked with Yellow Submarine and BloodOrange Fresco Paints and their combinations because I wanted my final layout to be in yellow/orange/red tones. I also added a bit of Gesso to the top to bring the vibrant colours a bit down. You may notice that the stamped images are still visible, because the paints I used are translucent.
My backgrounds wouldn’t be complete without stencilling. You might want to choose smaller detailed patterns. I applied the Yellow Submarine and Blood Orange paints (and their orange combinations) through some of my homemade stencils. The paints are quite thin for stencilling – but I’m going for a messy look. You can go on adding layers but I’m happy right now with what I have.
Now, the fun part. You need to cut the backgrounds into smaller pieces. It brings us back to the pre-planning. I drew a pattern – couple of lines and circles – and coloured it in so I knew I wanted to use four colours and therefore need four backgrounds. I made 4 identical templates for the cutting and I cut the four backgrounds along the lines of my template.
Once you have the pieces, you need to rearrange them so you end up with four multi-coloured patchwork-like assemblies. Before gluing down the pieces on a sheet of cardstock, I went along the edges with ink.
Finally, you have to decide what you want to do with your reassembled backgrounds. Sometimes, I just make a bunch of them, keep them in my drawer and when I need a card, I only add a sentiment and/or a flower. My backgrounds always end up a bit too colourful, so they require only some bold and simple embellishments. Here I used stamps from the JOFY32 set. I white-embossed them on a black cardstock and added a bit of shimmer using the Wink of Stella glitter pen.
This technique is very versatile. You don’t really need to create new backgrounds to cut them apart. You can use your old scraps and/or discarded artwork to make something entirely new. There is no limit. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create.
I hope you got inspired. See you some other time!
Fantastic Abstract Art Pavla, love how you still allowed the vibrant colours to show through, and also the added dimensional layer from the stencilling. The composition is simple yet very effective. The finishing detail from the black and white touches is perfect. ~Gillian
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