Avoid These Top 7 Mistakes when starting with abstract art

What is abstract art? Why is it so beautiful and powerful and sometimes complex and very simple at the same time?

The reality is that abstract art can be challenging, but at the same time it's a rewarding experience as well as a fun style for any artist to create.

As a beginner, it can be scary to let go and create abstractly on your canvas. And you can easily make mistakes that can hinder your progress and discourage you from continuing to create. 

I had the privilege of speaking with a lot of artists over the years and so in this blog post, I have highlighted the top 7 mistakes made by beginning abstract artists and you can also find tips on how to avoid them. 

Easy peasy!


1. Not having a clear concept or idea

One of the most common mistakes made by beginning abstract artists is not having a clear concept or idea for their piece. Without a clear concept, your work may lack direction and cohesiveness.

A concept is an idea of what you want to achieve, and it's fundamental to the process as it allow you to organise, understand, and develop ideas about your artwork. 

The concept can be shapes and forms, or proportions, or, like it is for me, what colours I want to use.

Another common mistake made by beginners is not having a plan for the composition of their canvas. Without a plan, the piece may appear haphazard and unbalanced. 

To avoid this, take some time to think about what you want to express in your piece before you begin painting. 
Think about the composition of your piece before you begin and make a plan for how the different elements will be arranged.


2. Overthinking the process

Another common mistake is overthinking the process of creating abstract art. Many beginners get caught up in trying to make their work perfect, which can lead to frustration and stagnation.

To avoid this, try to let go of the need for perfection and focus on the process of creating.

Try some simple doodling, scribbles, not focused creation.


3. Not experimenting with different materials

My problem is that I experiment with too many materials sometimes, where does one even stop really?!?

Anyway... many beginners tend to stick to one medium or material when creating abstract art.

However, experimenting with different materials can add depth and interest to your work. You can learn a lot from using a specific kind of paint, and then you'll be able to transfer that knowledge to something else!

Try using a variety of materials such as paint, charcoal, ink, or collage to create different textures and effects.


4. Not taking risks

Don't play it safe! If you only stick to what you know, which can lead to a lack of creativity and originality in their work.

To avoid this, try to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take some risks when creating.

5. Not studying the work of other artists

Many beginners neglect to study the work of other abstract artists. This can lead to a lack of understanding of the history and techniques of the medium. To avoid this, make a point of studying the work of other abstract artists and learn from their techniques and styles.


6. Not knowing the difference between abstract and non-objective art

Many beginners confuse abstract art with non-objective art. While both involve the use of abstract forms, non-objective art is completely non-representational and does not depict any recognisable objects or figures. Understanding the difference between the two can help you better understand the medium and create more meaningful work.

Generally speaking, you should study a lot. Don't neglect to look at the work of other abstract artists. So you'll understand history and techniques of the medium. 


7. Not using a limited colour palette

Many beginners use a wide range of colours in their abstract art, which can make the piece appear chaotic and overwhelming. To avoid this, try using a limited colour palette of 2-3 colours. This will help to create a sense of cohesiveness and unity in your piece.

Have a look here for the How to pick colours for your art workshop.


And once you're done with all of the above, take time to step back and evaluate your work. This is very important and without it, it can be difficult to see the overall composition and make any necessary changes. 

Abstract art is a process and once you overcome the initial doubts, it will become a part of you and who you are as an artist!

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