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, debiriley.com
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 debiriley.com
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, debiriley.com
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