Silly Saturday: Because I Can!

abstracts, because I can! acrylics,

Did you know that learning to create Abstract paintings is a fabulous way to teach yourself art basics of Design and Tonal Values?

I think that is why I consider abstracts one of the most Challenging genres to master.  I do not say that I have mastered the realm of Abstracts. But I do certainly enjoy the process of learning more!!


I can, acrylics abstracts,
Albany Waters

Abstracts….  Because I can!

With abstracts,  you typically do not have an object to look at to use to draw and paint from. Thus,  that’s why its called “non-representational” art.


Without an object to look at to see the tonal values of light, mid, dark;  you are in charge. This, perhaps is the scary, worrisome part for many.

You must decide how to place these 3 critical tones throughout the entire painting.

Without those 3 tones, (Light, Mid, Dark)   the painting will falter. It will fall flat….. it looks flat.



Because I Can on a Silly Saturday


My Thoughts for my art subject today:

clarity of tonal values, palette knife,  cobalt teal,  limited palette, smooth silky unified stroke movements, paintings in blues, to  extract an abstracted image from a recent location I’ve been,  less is more,  Wabi Sabi and  Zen.


ALL of the Above,  can easily be indexed in my Search box for … Many More  posts about those specific topics,  if you care to  Explore for more information.




So,  I wrote all these down.  Pondered for awhile.  Then thumbed through my photo library and found a b/w sky image from Albany, Western Australia.


I really liked the tonal value bands of contrast in the photograph.  light against dark, against light and so on.  Layer by layer.  It was intriguing.




I used a bit of charcoal and created a 2 inch x 3 inch tonal study of those bands of light, mid and dark. It was Merely as a  ‘helper guide’.

Just to help remind me about tones, …. and the place.


Then I put the photo away before I started in on the art work.


albany WA photo
Photo Albany

Photo is now put away.



Materials Used

palette knife

acrylic canvas

white, cobalt teal,  buff titanium, prussian blue    acrylic paints



abstracts, because I can! acrylics,
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Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

36 thoughts on “Silly Saturday: Because I Can!

  1. Your inspiration, your power, your art inspire me too, I want to do something colours… I love to see, to watch, to read, to learn, actually almost to be in your art world, it is exciting and so enjoyable. Thank you dear Debi, Fascinated me again. Have a nice day and great weekend, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article, Debi. You hit the nail on the head about tonal values. They bring “zing” as well as depth to a painting and change the painting from flat to fabulous. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! I appreciate that 🙂
      many of us love color so much in the beginning we willy nilly go to town with it. a big ooops!
      you are right about how it can then go from flat to fabulous! cheers, Debi


  3. Hi Debi – been reading and drooling over what you create for awhile! Love love love the cobalt teal. I went to the local art supply store this past week to purchase some – and Golden has replaced “cobalt teal” with just “teal” just this month (March 2016). They said, on their website that it had something to do with the availability of cobalt, but am not sure. I thought you may like to know this – but the new Golden Brand acrylic paint “Teal” is the same as “Cobalt teal”. I bought it and some Cobalt Turquoise. Your paintings always inspire me. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks!! wow! great to hear you’ve so enjoyed the images/posts. Yay!
      I’ve had CTB stocked up, but its good to know change is in the wind. I like to be prepared. Daniel Smith still should carry the w/c brand. I hope.
      I’m going to verify the Ingredients and color of Golden ‘teal’ to Cobalt Teal. hopefully, I’ll like the results. Thanks again for the comments! Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Abstract paintings are only good when you think about the golden ratio, too. Dark and light colors must have a good balance. You know how to do this, Debi. I actually tried to paint abstract but I just can’t. Cheers Mitza


  5. Master Debi Zen (one of your nicknames 🙂 ), I love your Silly Saturday’s, so much fun to see Cobalt Teal 🙂 working itself onto your canvass!
    Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs~Eva the Diva of wicked shoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Always appreciate the education I get every time I visit you here Debi, and of course love your painting with that splash of cobalt teal and it sings with your use of the textural white. Really nice light, mid and dark tones, a perfect illustration of today’s lesson! I was working on two different abstract paintings today and as I was working, I was thinking…..what would Debi do? What would she notice, what would she like about this, what would she tell me to correct? You are always with me as I paint! DD of the Light! I hope to post them this upcoming week. One of them I really like. Have you ever tried canvas paper? I got a 6×6″ pad of Strathmore acrylic paper and it’s basically a canvas/linen weave in 246 lb. Its amazing, doesn’t buckle or warp at all. Apparently watercolorists are using it too, according to one of the reviews on the Blick website. Time for sleepies now, but wanted to share. 😎💚🎨💃🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Laura!! CTB is always an eye catcher & good Uplifting moods 🙂 what would Debi do?! well, that made me chuckle.
      I have used canvas paper. I like it better for acrylics, personally. but I am a fan of gesso, gel medium, molding paste as bases… then applying w/c on top, so it does Strange things!
      You have picked a a TON of skills so quickly lately, Laura. Its beautiful to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That you so much for saying so, Debi. I definitely watch art videos every moment I can, but I’m going to credit the Master Artist for any true growth or skill or whatever is flowing from my pencil and paintbrush these days…..because I still remember four years of high school art…..and how truly bad my work always was (as much as I wanted it to be otherwise)… whatever good thing is happening is all Him. This much, I am more than sure about! I do thank Him for art every day. It blesses my life on a constant basis. And for people like you! Have a great night. 💚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are welcome Laura of The Light. yes, it is the master artist and Creator who instills the spirit of creativity into those called to be artisans. I know I’m meant to inspire and encourage, as well as to imagine and create. that is my calling to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

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