Friday, 13 January 2012

Realistic Abstracts

I was fortunate enough to receive a couple of art books for Christmas, and have enjoyed dipping into them both from time to time. The first is Realistic Abstracts by Kees Van Aalst, and the second one is Collage, Colour and Texture in Painting by Mike Bernard. From my perspective, they are, neither of them books for beginners, but are for artists who have mastered the basics and are ready to develop their paintings in a less than figurative way.
I am quite excited by the concepts in each of the books and have been ready for some time to try some new things. Kees Van Aalst's was the first one that I have really studied as I have been trying for some time to loosen up my paintings and to introduce a bit more freedom into the finished work.
I do not find it easy!! Even with the help of the text and the lovely examples given in the book, my finished results were still more realistic than abstract, but it is a start and I will persist!

                                                        Cherry Blossom


In both paintings, I painted the background first, using a limited palette, leaving white where I thought it needed to be. It was easier to work from one of my photos at this stage as these highlights are easier to see on a photo. I then spent some time looking at the resultant sheet of colour, decided where the flowers were to go and did a very limited drawing to keep me on track.
Whilst painting the flowers and leaves, I tried to keep in mind that all I wanted was just a suggestion of flowers, leaving the imagination to fill in the rest.
Sad to say, that each painting is still too realistic for my intended goal, especially the cherry blossom, but maybe I am getting there. I do quite like the delphiniums! And it was really good fun!

I have had a go at a bit of collage from Mike Bernard's book, and this weeks subject at art club was 'Clocks and Watches'. Quite a challenge for a flower painter!! So I used some of the tips that I had picked up for the painting,and did a bit of collage in combination with the watercolour, but I will save that for the next blog.


  1. Very nice indeed! Good to see you getting out of your comfort zone Yvonne and showing how much more you are capable of. Liked the one you did on Thursday.

  2. Thanks Peter, it is really outside my comfort zone, but I do find it exciting. Have put a few finishing touches to the Thursday painting and mounted it, and it really looks great. Will include it in my next blog

  3. I think they are both beautiful! Very well done!

  4. Thank you Judy, lovely to know people enjoy looking