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Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques Paperback – November 1, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you’re intrigued by the subject but don’t feel you know where to start, then this book will help you a long way towards the end of the road."  —Artbookreview.net

About the Author

Rolina van Vliet is an artist and workshop teacher who specializes in abstract painting.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844483363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844483365
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book which takes you through the nuances of abstract art without curbing your indviduality, this is a book to pick. The language is simple and the supporting illustration helps comprehension. On the flip side, the style of painting remains the same through out, but I still highly recommend this book for artists who are rearing to try abstract art ,but are looking for inspiration and guidance.
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Format: Paperback
For me, this book is too formulaic; it is more about "getting it right" than about awakening creative inspiration. While it is true that the abstract artist needs a good grasp of design, this is not the essence of abstract art; it is a medium for expressing intangibles visually.

If you believe a 'paint by numbers' kind of approach will give you confidence to begin, by all means start with Painting Abstracts. But if you want your abstracts to sing, I would recommend working from Mary Todd Beam's book, "Celebrate Your Creative Self." (She also has a new book coming out in March of 2009.)

For me, all the examples in "Painting Abstracts" have the same emotional temperature and use exactly the same visual metaphors. To get the idea of different visual metaphors, I would recommend looking at works by artists using other mediums, especially fibre artists and ceramic artists.

What I most find missing in this book is help with awakening inspiration: in the texture of rocks and leaves and trees for example, in different moods of water. Have you ever looked at a sunset that made you gasp? No doubt we cannot all aspire to creating the same emotional impact, but it is possible to put some of that feeling into an abtract painting.

Look further than this book if you want to do more than know how to handle your medium or how to create a pleasant design.

Postscript April 20th 2009:
It is worthwhile to read Pamela Blunt's rebuttal of my review in the comments, as well as my reply. (Incidently, I gave her a 'yes' vote, even though she completely disagrees with me.) Both our comments encapsulate the two different ways of approaching abstract art. I am sure folks are more than capable of deciding which way they want to go.
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Format: Paperback
I really love this book about abstracts. Lots of pictures to inspire you. But even better are the exercises using specific tools and/or paints and techniques, but without an actual picture to copy. For a beginner, I found them quite challenging. I discovered painting abstracts is not as easy as it looks. I'm still learning and trying from this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fiber artist and bought this book to help me in my abstract work. It doesn't disappoint. This book is an excellent resource on the topic.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone interested in developing their skills of creating abstract paintings. The author provides a brief, informative introduction to abstract painting. Each subsequent page contains a painting project exploring different techniques to create abstract paintings. The activities are clearly described and accompanied by examples of paintings produced by artists who completed the projects. The activities are not about splashing paint on a surface to create an abstract. Each activity explores the elements and principals of design and presents a painting problem to be solved. Experienced artists can apply their knowledge of design elements and principals to each activity and beginners can learn how to apply design elements and principals.A great reference to use to explore your creative potential.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book. Good approach to trying paintings and good information
shared with reader at appropriate points in book. Highly recommend it
to beginning as well as advanced painters--particularly artists new to
abstract concept.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants some instruction in abstract art. Very easy to follow & all kinds of ways to use all sorts of media.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A dead handy book this one--lots of good ideas. But the translation's a little off at times (especially some of the definitions). In fact, for me, half the fun of this book's figuring out what the heck the author's going on about. Once you've unbent the translation, Ms. van Vliet has plenty of practical tips for working in this genre. Definitely one for the atelier bookshelf.
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