31 Days of May and the painting pressure is on!   But, it seems The Muse of Abstraction has shown her face today.

Yet, I had secretly hoped for the arrival of the Muse  “Delight in the Dance.”

And that with my Brush, the Muse and myself we’d have a lovely time, and not entertain the Muse of Tragedy.


learn to paint abstracts, coral hibiscus photograph, debi riley, beginners art lessons tips, debiriley.com,
Coral Hibiscus #1

Photo #1    This is the normal uncut regular view of the subject.

5 Steps To Abstracting Designs


learn to paint abstracts, debiriley.com, beginners watercolor lessons,
HIbiscus close up #2

Going From the regular view,  I’ve  now zoomed in closer in Photo #2.   I’m  zeroing in on just a few of the petal shapes.



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Flower Design Petals #3


In Photo #3,  I’ve watercolored a foundation in golden orange and let it dry.

Then I went over the top, with a heavy marker.  Defining big exaggerated, broad petal shapes.

Unhindered by the ‘real’ color,  or the ‘real’ shapes’  or the ‘real’  tones.   At this point all I’m after is a design in lines.  An abstracted version of a floral subject!




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Coral Flower Pattern #4


Photo #4    I’ve made the watercolor background a pinker version.

Glazing over, to create a coral shade.  Then  retracing the design, discarding some of the exterior petals.

This creates a more abstract design.




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Floral Digital

In photo #5  I went completely digital.  Just as a What If exercise.

Into photoshop, zooming into some areas, layering, adding and cropping. Then using multiple drawing and painting tools and filters. Plus played with the mirror image.  More Recoloring and cropping. ……..    What I do like about it, are the negative spaces.


These 5 images   show the steps of the journey that the Muse of Abstraction had in store for me today.



The Muses of Art

Muses are funny, fickle and fleeting.  They certainly can never be forced into obedience either.  They show as they will. Or not.

And, you get the one that deigns to visit.




I’ve done better.  I’ve done worse.  There is Always Tomorrow.

Tomorrow,  I’m sure will be better!


In the meantime:    My job, …. is to show up to the paper.

And Begin.




I was so hoping for the arrival of the Muse  “Delight in the Dance.”    That with my Brush, the Muse and myself we’d have a lovely time, and not entertain the Muse of Tragedy.




Additional Posts you may be interested in:


The Muses     aquileana.wordpress.com

A wonderfully rich in depth article on the mythology of the Muses!!



Design Lines

31 Days of May  

Taming the Dragon of Perfectionism      

Gumnut flowers 

Rose creations