Here is my abstract still-life with watercolors, acrylic paints, and colored pencils, called “Harvest Stillife.” It’s created very intuitively, without any idea of the end result when started. But like so often before, when I selected images for this blog post, I found recent photos that must have been in my mind when I made this.
I love the complexity and the number of details that can be seen in these shots from my garden. Many who struggle with creating art overlook the complex nature of reality. In these photos, they only see a flower, bush, and some berries. Instead of labeling the obvious, you can examine all the color variations, different shapes, sharpness and blurriness of the elements, depth, patterns, the way each color connects with the next … Then you can try to summarize what the hierarchy of all these factors in the photos could be, how all this could be modeled. It seems too complex to describe in a simple way. That’s when creativity starts working for the solution, figuring out what things to bring out without losing the connection to all of it.
A big part of the visuals today has a simple, graphic look. If you get exposed to that a lot, you might think that simplicity is the key to creating good art. I believe it’s totally opposite: complex things are the best source of inspiration. Trying to see complex systems behind simple stereotypes feeds our creativity much more than trying to simplify the simple.
The same idea applies to painting: Embrace the complexity by adding a lot of variation and then bring out the essential.
Painting an Abstract Still-Life
Watercolors and acrylic paints:
Placing a plastic wrap over the wet watercolor paint to add more delicate details:
Ready for finishing:
A detail of the finished look, done with colored pencils and a black drawing pen:
Creating abstract still lives so that they appear naturally is so much fun!
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