Tips on Easy Abstract Art Painting for Beginners

Create some easy abstract art paintings by using recycled card boards as canvas

Abstract art is one of the easiest form of art to do. It is fun, flexible and expressive- suitable for all ages to enjoy. But first, what exactly is abstract art? If you were to google abstract art, by definition according to TATE, it describes abstract art as "art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality, but instead use shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect." Now, that sounds like fun being able to freely express yourself creatively through a combination of colourful shapes and patterns.

Abstract Art for Beginners
How to get started in abstract art? It is simple.
All you need to prepare are:
Acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Card boards (to replace canvas)

Optional, but you can include additional supplies like watercolour, oil pastel or even posca markers if you have any. More recycled items like jar lids, toothpicks, old credit cards, for example, for mark makings.

Why I Used Card boards?
I suggested card boards to replace canvases because, personally, I have been exploring abstract art painting on recycled card boards. During the COVID-19 lock down, I look through my house to see what I could find to paint on and recycled card boards were one of the things that you can reuse as canvases. This way, as a beginner, you can explore and experiment with abstract painting as much as you want to without worrying if you are wasting a good canvas.

On a side note, you can also cut the card boards into smaller A5 pieces for a quick daily exploration. It always seem more fun to paint on smaller art pieces, don't you agree?

Tips on Easy Abstract Art Painting

To begin, start off with colour combinations for your abstract artwork. Have an idea of what sort of colours you would like to use. If you are clueless, one of the easiest way to do so is to observe attractive colour combinations from Pinterest or Instagram, or you can start off with your favourite colours. Pick 2 to 3 colour combinations and paint the background. As for me, I started off by painting random white shapes and shades on the card board pieces while leaving some unpainted areas.

After a quick dry with the hair dryer, I layered all kinds of other shapes on top of the white with other favourite colours. The idea is to basically fill up the unpainted areas or create colourful shapes while making sure that you do not paint over the white entirely. Remember, as free and easy abstract art can be, you still need to maintain a sense of balance in art making to create a harmonious layout.

Lines, Shapes and Patterns
This is where the actual fun begins! It is when you start adding on lines, shapes and patterns. There are two things you need to take note of:

1. Trust your intuition
Pay attention to the small details and areas that allow you to create an attractive pattern. This is how you engage with your canvas (card board in this case) and let it show you where to paint. Generally, people think that abstract is all about splashing colours and create messy unplanned streaks of paints. Yes and no, but personally, I think it about paying attention to the little details on your canvas to let it show you where you can fill in the spaces and further elaborate the painting as you go along.

2. Start Small
Start with easy ones like, wavy lines, circles, zig zags etc. If you need to look at reference, go ahead, and if you need to test it a separate piece of paper, why not. Give yourself permission to experiment!

As I added on lines, shapes and patterns, noticed that the colour that I am using is black. Personally, I find that black highlights the background colour especially if the background colours are light or bright ones. It sort of matches well together. You can also do the same with white or other colours on different background tones.

You don't have to necessarily start with bright or darker colours, it is not specific but depends on your preference and how you feel. My advice is just to mix and match to find out what you like and don't like. In fact, this is when the card board is useful because you will be able to experiment with variety of abstract art designs as much as you want.

There you go! Easy abstract art ideas for abstract art beginners and abstract for kids.

Bonus! If you want to see the entire process, featuring three different abstract art painting process, click to watch the video on our YouTube channel.

The Artsy Craftsy by Shia Lynn documents her journey on exploring life through art, crafts, creativity and creative mindful living. She also covers mainly creative arts and handmade community related stories. We welcome content collaboration with creatives, creative lifestyle event invites, including sponsored content and brand partnerships. Request for our rate card or speak to us about our creative service. Email

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