How to make a simple abstractified painting. In this free painting video lesson I share how you can take a simple motif and use it to create an expressive, 'abstractified' painting. A great way to make art on uninspired days, and develop your voice as an artist using motifs and palettes that you love.

When I was in Mexico last year, I was making a lot of art in my sketchbook since that was all I had with me. Having thought I’d got palm trees out of my systemย before I left, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see them re-emerging in a land where there are palm trees everywhere you turn!

Because I did so many, I started to develop a repeatable process. Typically I haven’t had this in the past, partly because of my slapdash, haphazard approach, and partly because I enjoy the unpredictability of my way of abstractifying in painting.

But for simple sketchbook work, it was nice to have something to fall back on on the days where I didn’t feel inspired by any new ideas, or just wanted something comforting in its familiarity.

I loved to sit on the beach in the early evening, watching the surfing newbies having their lessons, the dogs running wild, and the hawkers offering banana bread, jewellery, and blankets. Then I’d pull out my sketchbook, rest it on my knees, open my tin of colours, and just play with colour and charcoal.

When I mentioned on Instagram that I was considering making a video to share how I putย these little paintings together, it received a very positive response. So, a little later than planned, here is said video.

As I mention about half way through, my focus is always on pulling out your unique self expression rather than showing you how to copy what I do, but sometimes copying is the best way to learn a process. If you have a motif that you commonly use already and could play around with abstractifying, I encourage you to do that. Or you can start by doing what I did and then evolving it from there.

Enjoy this free painting video lesson!ย And if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Materials I used {this can be adapted to what you prefer}



AbstractifyEnjoyed this? Then you might want to check outย Abstractify, the much loved course designed to help you begin to uncover your own unique artist style.


It offers a wealth of lessons like this to help you find and develop yours, and if it’s not currently open for registration, you can sign up to get on the waiting list for the next session.

Click the image on the left to find out more about the course. And if you’d like a free sample lesson from the actual course, click here.