Textured Oil Painting Abstract on Canvas | How to Make Colorful Textured Oil Painting Abstract on Canvas

Abstract painting is not just a bunch of colors splashed on canvas! I always create a plan for my paintings. My plan consists of three main tasks:

1 – Abstract Painting Design

There has to be a design beforehand that provides a general idea of the painting concept, there has to be an inspiration from real world. In my case, I get inspired by nature: trees, sky, rivers..etc.

2 – Color Theme of the Abstract Painting

  • What colors to be included?
  • What is the main color?
  • What is the nature of colors? e.g. pastel-like cool colors, or bold energetic ones?
  • What is the background base color of the first layer (before applying more layers)?

3. Abstract Painting Process

  • Preparing the canvas by applying enough coats of gesso.
  • Number of layers to be included (the chosen color theme helps in deciding this)

In this blog post, I will show you the basic steps I follow when I paint abstracts in oil paints, featuring one of my painting titled “Nature Vibes 5”.

List of Colors:
  1. Lamp black
  2. Naples Yellow Hue
  3. Yellow Ochre
  4. Phthalo Blue
  5. Raw Umber
  6. French Ultramarine
  7. Viridian Hue
  8. Flesh Tint
  9. Magenta
  10. Cadmium Yellow Hue
  11. Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue
  12. Soft Mixing White

In this painting, I used a base background color mixture of (lamp black, raw umber, yellow ochre and phthalo blue). I haven’t used any thinning medium. Using a thick brush, I blended these colors on the canvas to achieve a gradient look.

Using a palette knife, I applied a mix of (French ultramarine+ Naples yellow hue+ soft mixing white) over the wet background (moving the knife over the canvas in a circular motion).

Similarly, this light green color that looks like a cloud is a mix of (viridian hue + Naples yellow hue) which I applied on the wet background with the palette knife.

I added few vertical lines with the knife at the top (these vertical lines are representation of forest trees!)

While the background is wet, I made some marks by gently scratching the background using the tip of the palette knife. These marks will create a beautiful visual effect later after this layer is dry, and subsequent layers are added.

In this stage, I applied flesh tint thick paint directly on the wet background (it will blend well with the chosen background ‘s wet colors). Notice the placement of the color between the blue and the green, creating beautiful color contrast.

As shown in this photo, notice how the flesh tint paint blended with the wet background. I added more vertical lines with flesh tint paint.

In this step, I’m using another palette knife with a longer head to help in shaping and blending the vertical lines (moving this type of palette knife over the canvas in a vertical manner). I make sure to keep part of the darker background visible (it will create a better visual effect when we have color contrasts)

Time for magenta paint! this magenta is mixed with a little of Naples yellow hue and soft mixing white

Now I’ll add orange color (it is called Cadmium yellow pale hue but it is actually a light orange). This orange is mixed with a little of Naples yellow hue. It will blend well with the wet background.

In this step, I’m adding more vertical lines with a mix of Cadmium Yellow Hue and Naples hue.

So the first layer of this painting is shown in this photo. It has to be completely dry before proceeding with the next layer. The paints will be dry within a couple of days.

Once the previous layer is completely dry, It will be much easier now to finish the painting by adding thicker paints of highlighted colors and other final touches with the palette knife. These highlights will be achieved by adding more of the soft mixing white paint to each color mix used in the previous layer.

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