Common mistakes when creating abstract art and how to avoid them

In my opinion abstract art should be dictated from within, but there are some keys to success that you must possess if you wish to reach your full potential as an artist. This is a short guide on how to refine your skills and improve your abstract art, so that it projects something that you envisioned, rather than a compromise on what you wanted.

Blending the wrong colors

You want to get a vibrant painting but instead you get a cloudy muddy color. When you first start painting it is simpler to use a color wheel to have a clear understanding of primary and secondary colors. A good source of information on this subject can be found on 30 Color Mixing Tips For Artists.


Don’t hold back your creativity. Dare to use colors and go with your feelings. Many artists face their doubts when starting painting their first abstract. Novice artists may need to experiment with their technique on few canvases before they reach a level of satisfaction with the outcome. This is normal – don’t be discouraged if at first you feel that the painting process is too demanding or laborious. The key to success in every mental or physical activity is practice. Trust that you can pull It off and be patient with yourself.

Know when to stop working on your art

To many it is not clear when the painting is finished especially when painting abstract art. You will know when the painting is not finished when you are not happy with the result, or when the painting is lacking with vitality and clarity. In such cases, the best approach is simply to take a break. Come back to your canvas after an hour and look at your painting again with fresh eyes. Most of the time you will be guided with your feelings and it will suddenly be clear to you what your eyes have missed.

If you are not content with your painting, wait till it dries. You can always go over your first creation. The great benefit is that you will now have a layer of texture to work over.

It’s okay to make mistakes

When painting abstract expressionism, there are no clear and precise rules as how to paint. For me, some of the best abstract paintings turn out from simple 'mistakes'. Even if you sometimes think that you have not applied the correct colors, applied too much or less paint or incidentally splashed paint in the wrong places, take a step back or as it sometimes happens to me, look at your creation through a camera lens. It may strike you that what you are seeing is actually a very nice creation.

To summarize:

When we first start to paint it is hard not to be overwhelmed. Many questions come to mind: what colors to use, what types and size of brushes are needed, what palette knives to use, and what canvas size would best fit the job.

If you are passionate about painting you can educate yourself by watching videos and exploring other online resources.

It is a rewarding process that with time will bring you to a level of competency in such a way you’re your brushwork will make your abstract art really POP!

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  • Osnat
    Hello Colin,

    If painting is your passion keep painting. You can keep painting while holding your current day job.
    Market yourself, build your own website.
    Once you establish yourself as an artist, you can follow your heart full time :-)

    Kind regards,
  • Colin
    Hello Osnat,

    I am just amazed at your artwork, I have seen the TV clip about how you started and that just showed me that anything is possible.

    I have always had some sort of art in me but it comes and goes, about a year ago I started to paint on canvas learning as I go along, i've probably sold around 30 at a cheap and I really want to sell more, I'm in a job I don't like and would rather work from home just like you.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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