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Look inside Abstract Painting
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 28 June 2021
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782219576
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 500
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £14.99
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Abstract Painting


20 projects & creative techniques in acrylic & mixed media by Petra Thölken (Author)

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Book Description

Petra Thölken’s practical and inspiring book examines what it means to make an abstract work of art. She encourages the reader to consider the subjects of composition, planes, and subject and expression, while also examining the more practical topics of colour theory and colour mixing, how to work with pigment, canvas and priming, spatula techniques and working with unconventional backgrounds. All these elements build up into a vocabulary of visual pointers from which the reader can begin to explore their own adventurousness and creativity.

Through the 20 beautiful projects that Petra demonstrates, step by step, readers will learn how to create texture, work with unusual tools and create soft transitions or high contrast. Her clarity of thought and inspirational advice will open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing your paintings and achieving the self-expression that leads to visually exciting and technically innovative work. For some of the projects, there are links to Petra's popular YouTube videos, demonstrating how she created the individual paintings.

Table of Contents

10 Pigment
12 Acrylic
13 Binding agent
14 Traditional colour theory
16 Mixing in practice
17 Making pigment paste
18 Composition
19 Planes
20 Subject and expression
22 Brushes
24 Unconventional tools
26 Canvas
27 Priming
28 What is glazing?
29 Spatula techniques
30 Spatula: Exercise 1
32 Spatula: Exercise 2
34 Texture in the picture
36 Emphasizing texture: Exercise 1
38 Emphasizing texture: Exercise 2
40 Sponge
42 Drawing implements
43 Gold plating
44 Unconventional backgrounds
45 Your colours

48 My Japanese Water Lilies
52 Golden Skyline
56 Patina Allure
60 The Golden Rectangle
64 Creative Board
68 What Good Can I Do Myself Today?
72 Give Colour Some Room
76 Inspiring Colour Field Painting
80 Days Like This
84 Wandering into the Distance
88 Flower Interplay
92 Summer Courtyard Whispers
96 Garden Art From Long Ago
100 True Colours
104 Silence is Golden
108 Sailing in a Storm
112 Dreamy Green
116 Overland Cornfield
120 Expressive Abstract
124 Abstract Colour Play

About the Author

About Petra Thölken

Petra Thölken knew, even as a child, that she wanted to be an artist. She learned oil painting from scratch and, in her spare time after school, she produced drawings using chalk pastels and pencils, taking her inspiration mostly from nature. Later, as a freelance designer, she designed individual pieces of furniture and soon, entire room concepts for distinguished private individuals. In 1999, in search of a new, larger space as a design and planning office, she struck lucky in the heart of Hanover, Germany with an old factory that also offered space for her current studio. In 2004, she opened a painting school and, in 2015, she created her internationally popular YouTube channel under the name Künstlerstreich. Her work is exhibited internationally and is part of public and private collections.


Leisure Painter

For any artist who wants to take steps towards abstraction, this is the book for you. Petra Thölken is an artist and freelance designer based in Germany who opened her own painting school in 2004 and created her internationally popular Youtube channel under the name Künstlerstreich. Her new book, Abstract Painting, shows readers how to take skills they already possess with composition, colour theory and techniques  and to build upon them while exploring more adventurous methods, working with unusual tools (or objects they may already have), and unconventional grounds. Twenty step-by-step projects are included, which will stretch your painting skills to create works with heightened contrasts, textures, and emotional connection. Some of the projects are linked to Petra's Youtube videos so that you can watch her in actions. 

Amazon Customer Review

This is a visually beautiful book with plenty of helpful advice, information and tips. I have done a couple of the exercises and although I am not happy enough to show you the results, I feel encouraged to continue with abstract. I don't think this book is for a complete beginner to art but is perfect for an artist who is a beginner to abstract art. I am very glad I added to my library of art library.

Crafts Beautiful

Unleash your inner artist and create visually exciting and technically innovative work with Abstract Painting by Petra Tholken. Through learning how to create texture, work with unusual tools and create soft transitions or high contrasts, Petra's wealth of knowledge and advice will open your eyes to a whole new way of working. 

Customer Review

This is a really lovely book not only for those new to abstract painting, but I think excellent for someone that may have got stuck in a rut with their work. Its sensibly laid out with the expected clear explanations of materials, colour theory etc. But I like the unconventional tools section, encouraging the artist to make use of what they may already have. Projects vary in complexity and have some wonderful ideas for bringing texture into abstract work. All in all a great book and I'm going to enjoy incorporating some of the ideas into future projects.

Customer Review

I have long been a fan of abstract art but find it so difficult to achieve myself without ending up with a muddy mess.

This enchanting book covers the basics in great detail from which paints to use, creating your own paints with pigments and binders, using commercially available paints, colour theory and composition and includes a section of what exact colours to mix to get a specific colour which I found useful.

The author gives simple analogies throughout to explain concepts such as subject and planes, making for easy reading and understanding.

There are exercises to complete to help you explore the techniques mentioned. They are detailed and precise, perfect for a beginner.

The artist walks you through 20 of her own works of art and gives in depth instructions for you to replicate the painting yourself. I always find it interesting to see the process of other artists' work and how they achieve certain marks and textures.

The artist's work was engaging, energetic and colourful with lots of textures to draw the eye in and make you want to touch the real painting!

Overall, this is a lovely book to get beginners started on their abstract journey and introduce you to some of Petras beautiful work. I am definitely happy to have it on my bookshelf.

Customer Review

20 projects and creative techniques in acrylic and mixed media. The front page is very attractive. It tells you exactly what it is. When you open the book it tells you a bit about the author. When you are looking though the book it tells you all about paints and how to use them. Then it goes on to the projects you can do. The projects are very easy to follow and have step-by-step instructions, as well as handy tips. Very easy to follow if its your first time doing abstract painting. The 20 projects are all very different and colourful. Would recommend this book if you are new at this.

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