The Most Commonly Asked Questions in Abstract Art Answered!

Dec 13, 2022

Have you had a ton of questions about abstract painting? The definition of abstract art is; art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. Today you will find out some answers to the most frequently asked questions. These are questions that throughout my career have been asked by students. These are questions that you will find in the art world. The beauty of abstract art is you can create so many wonderful things by just going for it. Find out below how to fix some of the most common problems in creating your abstract art.


Question 1. “I created what looks like mud. How do I fix this?”

My painting looks like mud

The amazing thing about working with oil and cold wax medium is that once your painting is dry, you can go over and over again to create wonderful layers. Sometimes however, if you try to paint too soon on top of a layer and it’s not completely dry the layers can mix together to create something that resembles mud. The simple way to fix this is to WAIT! Patience is key in this area. If you don’t like a layer, always remember that you can redo it by simply waiting until it’s dry and painting over it again and again until you get your desired look. 


Question 2. “I added all these textures but I don’t see them…”

artist adding texture to abstract painting

artist adding texture to abstract painting


artist using stencil on abstract painting

One of the most common questions I get asked in my art classes is, “why can’t I see the texture I created in my painting?” The biggest thing to remember about texture is that it’s most visible when there’s contrast added to a painting. Use contrasting colors to enhance being able to see the texture you’ve added. It will be very difficult to see the texture if you place it on an all white painting for example. But, if you add the textured portion to a dark spot within the painting it will pop! Another tip is to build your color pallet before starting your project so that you have a mixture of light and dark values beforehand. 


Question 3. “I created this painting and I have the beginnings of something but I don’t know what to do next”

I don’t know what to do next (value finder)

Sometimes a painting just doesn’t feel complete. This can be such a frustrating situation when you don’t know what else to do or where to go! The 1st step is to use your value finder. Make sure your painting contains very darks, mids and very light colors. When your painting contains varying values it creates interest and intrigue within the abstract art. If you find that your painting has an over abundance of one value, consider adding in another value to add more interest. This simple step usually transforms paintings I don’t feel great about into sellable abstract art!


At the end of your abstract journey, enjoy the final product! When your painting is completed you will find a sense of joy and relief. The beauty about abstract art is you can create anything into something beautiful! Look at your painting and find your lights, mids and dark values. Your mind will instantly go to what you could have done differently, but before anything, admire the work you did.  If you have any further questions, or want to learn more tips and tricks, please join one of my ongoing classes at the link below!

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