Materials: Complete the abstract artwork portion of your cumulative project using the media of your choice. You are welcome to create your work with paint, color pencil, crayon, digitally, or other media of your choice. Select the materials that you work best with and are readily available in your area. The critical analysis portion of your essay must be typed using a word processing program such as Word or Open Office.
Before You Begin
Gather objects or images that you might like to use for reference. Prepare the work area with newspaper, recycled printer paper, or other similar paper; paint, paintbrushes, and paint palette; paper towels; and water container, or other materials you plan to add color to.
Step 1: Choose a Subject and Style
Choose a subject that complements the style you will be working in. For example, you might choose to paint an interior genre in the Fauvist style, a Cubist still life, an Abstract Expressionist portrait, or a Surrealist landscape. Or, you may want to combine features of more than one style and create your own abstract style.
Still Life: If you decide to paint a still life, gather some objects for reference and set them up in an area where they will remain undisturbed for the duration of the project.
Landscape or Genre Painting: If you are creating a landscape or genre painting, choose a scene or location where you would like to paint, or gather your own photographs or photographs from books and magazines as inspiration.
Portrait: If you are making a portrait, you may ask someone to pose for you, you may use a photograph as inspiration, or you may make it a self-portrait by looking in a mirror.
Step 2: Sketch and Draw
You can work in one of the abstract styles that you learned about or combine elements from different styles to create your own style. Refer to the sections below on Line, Shape, and Space below to help you decide the effect you want to create. Make several quick thumbnail sketches to help you plan your painting and decide how to arrange the composition. Once you have decided on a final composition, lightly draw the elements on a new piece of paper. Finalize the sketch into a finished drawing by smoothing and darkening the lines and by erasing any unwanted lines.
Line and Shape
You can use curving lines for a whimsical effect as Surrealist Joan MirÃ³ did. Or, as the Fauvist Matisse did, use graceful, flowing lines, repeating them to create an overall pattern. Or, as Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning did, use expressive, gestural lines. Think of ways to simplify the shapes of the figures and objects and to eliminate details that you feel arenâ€™t necessary in your composition. Think about the shapes in some Modernist artworks that youâ€™ve studied.
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