Think you need to take a class in order to learn acrylic abstract painting? You can begin acrylic abstract painting with no instruction and without spending a lot of money on class fees or on materials. All you need to begin acrylic abstract painting is the desire to have fun with color and texture and a willingness to lose control.
I started acrylic abstract painting four years ago. I needed another creative outlet, one that I didn’t take as seriously as writing. In high school art classes, I became convinced that watercolor was too hard to control and oil painting was just plain out of the question – too many steps involved, too expensive. I never got the chance to explore acrylic abstract painting.
Did you dabble in painting as a kid, then decide it was for those “naturally talented” people? Do you feel drawn to art supply stores, but become overwhelmed by all of the different materials and instruction books? If so, you too might find a haven in acrylic abstract painting.
I won’t give you a lot of rules or explanation about acrylic abstract painting. Rules are beside the point. The idea is simply to begin acrylic abstract painting and see what happens.
Art teachers may insist that you need Brush Style X, Y, and Z and Paint Brand Q to start acrylic abstract painting. My only guides as I browse art supply store aisles are my gut and my wallet.
Acrylic Abstract Painting: Canvas
When I create an abstract acrylic painting, I like to play at being a “real” painter, so I buy canvases. Generally, canvases come in three levels of quality: economy, studio, and gallery. For my abstract acrylic painting, studio quality suits me fine. You do get what you pay for, as with most products. Economy is usually stapled around the sides, and it tends to buckle (I’m pretty hard on my canvases). Gallery is sturdy, but far more expensive.
You may be perfectly happy creating an acrylic abstract painting from a “canvas panel” – a piece of cardboard with a primed canvas-like texture on one side. A canvas panel needs to be handled gently, but for under $10, you can buy a pack of five small panels or several larger panels. You can then start a series of acrylic abstract paintings for very little money.
Acrylic Abstract Painting: Colors
Paint also varies widely in price. If you’re just starting to explore acrylic abstract painting, your best bet is to buy a small pack of basic colors. I admit, I trembled as I selected my first Reeves Acrylic Colour Set, although it was under $9. Were those 12 tiny tubes really going to allow me to create my first acrylic abstract painting? At 0.4 fluid ounces per tube, I was amazed by how much color I got from them. When I create an acrylic abstract painting, I use gobs of paint, yet one set lasted through three nine-by-twelve-inch canvases. You can also buy sets of larger tubes which contain only white, black, blue, red and yellow paint. With this array, if you recall your kindergarten color wheel, you can create any color you wish.
Acrylic Abstract Painting: Brushes
This is where most of us freeze up – all those shapes, sizes, textures! Remember, acrylic abstract painting means fun, so make things easy on yourself. Look for the “bargain” brushes ($1 to $2 each) and grab a couple – one round, one flat, or whatever you’d like to experiment with. If you’re feeling adventurous about acrylic abstract painting, buy an economy pack of brushes. Yes, the bristles will fall out, sometimes becoming a part of the painting.
That’s all you need to start acrylic abstract painting. Ordinary household items – empty glass jars for water to rinse brushes, paper towels, layers of newspaper – will complete your set of materials. I did it for a total of just under $20 and so can you. The less you spend on materials for acrylic abstract painting, the more you’ll be able to lose control and just paint without fretting over the outcome. Let go and have fun!