Archive for abstract paintings

La Sagrada Familia

Posted in Cool Ideas with tags , , , on November 17, 2009 by

Located in Barcelona, Spain, La Sagrada Familia is vast architectural endeavor that is a major tourist destination in Spain.  This privately-funded church has been under construction since 1882, and is not expected to be finished until 2026.  Most visitors await the public opening of a portion of its interior scheduled in September 2010.

La Sagrada Familia is considered the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), a famous Catalan architect.  The last 15 years of Gaudi’s life was centered in the construction of this massive infrastructure.  The architectural design is so amazing; it’s been one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions for years.  This magnificent architecture has been subject of countless abstract paintings.

Originally, the project was under Francesc Del Villar.  When he resigned a year later, Antoni Gaudi was put in his place and the whole design was changed completely.  On Gaudi’s death, Domènech Sugranyes took over.  However the project was interrupted in 1936 because of the Spanish Civil War.  Catalan anarchists destroyed several unfinished areas along with Gaudi’s models and workshop.  Currently, the design is from the reconstructed lost plans of Gaudi and through computer generated modern adaptations.

No other church in Spain is as rich in Christian symbolism as La Sagrada Familia.  Gaudi has intended the church to be the “last great sanctuary of Christendom.”  The current construction of the church is bridled with controversy.  The application of Computer Aided design technology allows the needed stone blocks to be shaped by a CNC milling machine off-site.  People can view the complete description of the current construction and future plans in an exhibited catalogue at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt are Main.  Catalan architects are advocating the halt of the construction as a respect to the original architectural designs of Gaudi.  Those people who are in charge of the project are opposing the idea.  It is expected that by September 2010.  If you cannot visit La Sagrada Familia, you can view gallery paintings of this church in museums.  Abstract art paintings of La Sagrada Familia are also available online.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Posted in Cool Ideas with tags , , , on November 17, 2009 by

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is a Protestant church found in Berlin.  The original church was constructed between 1891-1895 but was destroyed in the air raid bombing during World War II.  After the war, several plans were made to redevelop the church.  A new glass church was proposed to be built on the ruins, in addition to complete destruction and removal of the remains so a totally new church would be built.  Later on, it was decided to leave the ruin behind and build a new church around it.  The old church is now a memorial to commemorate World War II.  Many artists created abstract paintings of this church as an expression of their dislike of war and its effects.

The new design of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was made by Egon Eiermann.  It has 4 buildings set around the ruins.  The original plan to completely demolish the entire church was set aside in favor of the demands of the public to save the ruins.  The four buildings were now situated on the west and east of the ruins.  The walls were made of more than 20,000 stained glass inlay designed by Gabriele Loire.  Loire got his inspiration from the glass colors of the Chartres Cathedral.  The spectacular mix red, green, blue, and yellow would surely inspire you to create your own abstract art painting.  Inside the church is a suspended figure of Christ facing the entrance?  The figure is designed by Karl Hemmeter.  Peter Tauchnitz designed the cross made of gilt silver inlaid with 37 rock crystals.  You will find the bowl of holy water contained in a stand of Carrara marble.  The wonderful sound of the organ is amplified by acoustics improved by Plexiglas panels.  If you wish to see the renowned works of art of the church, head to the northeast wall.  You will find a memorial of Protestant martyrs in bronze plaque that died in 1933-1945 under the Nazi regime.  Next is the Stalingrad Madonna, the church’s symbol for hope.

You will only get to fully understand why Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is among the most visited places in Germany when you get to see it yourself.  You can buy abstract art of this church in many galleries and also online.

Abstract Art Paintings

Posted in Animal Art, Cool Ideas, Figure Art with tags , , , on November 8, 2009 by

Abstarct 1

Unlike other painting techniques, abstract art, I believe, has no right and wrong in terms of making a painting. The values of form, contrast, line, hues, position and tone are basics. Even so, it is crucial that the painter feels free to experiment and explore with paint. This article helps you in making your own way to produce an abstract painting which you will enjoy as much as you enjoy its value.


Feel Free and Concentrate!

Though I understand that most of us have our own daily task, making an abstract art painting will require your full concentration, so set aside your daily. As matter of fact the more you concentrate in expressing your self in the painting the faster you will achieve your goal.


Do not forget to put enough drop cloths on the floor for you to work as freely as you want. Remember that you want this job done as enjoyable as you can, so do not limit your imagination. You can also wear your old clothes and don’t feel shame if you think you’re like a kindergarten child who is having fun making abstract art paintings.


Put Yourself On it!

While doing your painting, it is important that you’re putting yourself on it. Identifying your feelings and transferring it in your canvas. To help you with, choose a music that lifts your spirit and supports your painting, an abstract painting with wild abandon!


Let go of all expectations!

In my opinion, this part is the hardest of all. Since grade school, we are aiming to paint a perfect apple or a good orange. Well, set aside of this thought! Forget those people who are telling you that you don’t have a talent in drawing. Just enjoy the moment and see what comes. Don’t feel worried by the pristine white canvas. If you want to cover that white as fast as possible just to get rid that feeling right away, you may do so! To start with you could also apply any single color to the canvas to cover it completely. Then choose any colors that you think are applicable for your present feeling.


Put more paint on your brush or use your hand!

Stop worrying about the mess you will make on your floor, or clothes, or even on your face. Don’t worry if you commit a mistake! I always believe that there are no errors in art just discoveries and challenges to solve. No need to let the first coat of paint dries before you apply the next one or more. Wet on wet is a great way to come up with a great work of art in abstract. What also great thing about abstract is that you can use whatever tools you can find in your home to make your marks like your old toothbrush! Try wiping it back into the freshly applied paint. Don’t be scared with the medium just let go and enjoy!


Stop and look at your work!

What can you see? Pay attention to those marks you are not happy with. If you are not satisfy with what you see, you can walk away first, perhaps have a cup of tea then go back later and look at it again. What can you see then?


Recognize and appreciate what you have painted!

Be sure to recognize what you have painted. Notice the shapes that cold have drawn out more or the colors or marks that work really well against each other. You can ask your immediate family on which part of your painting they like most.

There it goes! You have just started an abstract art painting. There are several issues make an abstract art really works such as balance in the artwork, or lack of thereof, the tone, the placement, composition, use of materials and use or combination of colors. The more you attach yourself to the process the more you will understand the secret of abstract art!

Modern paintings: A family treasure!

Posted in Cool Ideas with tags , , on November 2, 2009 by

Purchasing abstract paintings nowadays is seen as a rarity since more and more people are deciding for the cheaper imitation of original paintings that are printed out on tarpaulin sheets and framed. These inexpensive knockoffs of original artwork do not last a lifetime and will eventually fade when continuously exposed to the elements like dust, sunlight, and air. Your modern art on canvas should be considered as something of an investment and a souvenir that you can pass on to your kin as something from this era. Like those paintings of the masters were passed down to this generation, so these modern art pieces should also be passed on to the next generations to come.

Having these cheap knock-offs of certain paintings that you like or posters of paintings that you feel will make your home look good is fine for a short period of time. These things will soon fade and you will find yourself buying another poster or printout of another copy of real canvas paintings to replace the faded ones that means spending your money again.

Instead of buying those things why not consider buying the real thing instead and have something you can give to your children when they move to their own homes or when they grow up? A lot of modern art on canvas are well painted and will be welcome additions to any home.

Purchasing paintings for your home is a sound investment since oil paintings seldom fade when exposed. If in case they fade, experts can easily restore the damage. Contemporary paintings on canvas can be your choice for canvas paintings that you have pass on to your next generation of course there are other style you could choose from.

Contemporary art is a good representation of our time and the common artistic style that artists of our generation use. The different kinds of modern art you can choose from include pop art, modern abstract art pieces, unique silhouette and figure paintings, realistic-looking still life, and modern landscapes and seascapes. There are several types of modern art on canvas you can choose for your home.

Canvas paintings will look good in any form of your home or even in your office; you can choose for any of the above mentioned art paintings. Consider also purchasing one of those multi canvas paintings that look perfect on your wall either on your home or office. You may also choose to buy more than one art piece if you are a true art lover and if you are looking to create a collection that you can keep until the time when you will be passing it on to your children and your children’s children.

The Story behind Madame X

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 2, 2009 by

The woman in the portrait Madame X was Virginie Amélie Avegno. She was born in New Orleans in January 1859. Her parents were well-to-do plantation owners; however after a series of tragedies her father falls in the Battle of Shiloh, her sister Valentine died because of fever that’s why the eight-year-old Amélie moved to Paris together with her mother.

The Avegno matriarch instantly began grooming her daughter for a good marriage. The goal was realized when Amélie was nineteen; the suitor was forty-year-old Pierre-Louis Gautreau, who is a banker and shipping tycoon. As low-key as the match appeared, Amélie understood that once she became a married woman, there would no longer need to play the virginal maiden. Right after the ink dried on the marriage certificate, Amélie set about plotting to conquer Paris.

An Image of a Free Woman

With her money, Amélie was able to purchased dresses from top designers; to attract utmost attention, she preferred chic, simple gowns that accentuated her figure, rather than the fussy frocks popular at the time. She likes to color her lips scarlet, drew in her eyebrows in mahogany, and reddened the tips of her ears. There were speculations that she ate small amounts of arsenic to maintain her ethereal pallor.

The Artists and the Painting

The artist, Sargent had already won several prizes at the Paris Salons before he met his most famous subject in 1881. Two years later, after much pleading, Amélie agreed to pose for him, and Sargent rented a studio near the Gautreau home. A black dress was decided upon almost immediately, but Sargent went through many pencil and watercolor sketches trying to settle on the best pose. Because Amélie was flighty and hated to sit still, Sargent eventually ended up staying with the Gautreaus at their summer home in Brittany, so his subject would always be close at hand. Finally, after a long period of artist’s block, Sargent set to work.

While the method of painting that would finally become Madame X was trying for both artist and sitter. The pose Amélie had to hold was uncomfortable and Sargent had a difficult time paitning her lavender skin tone, among many other problems, by March of 1884 it was ready to be sent to the annual Salon. Though she had not yet seen the finished product thought the work to be a masterpiece, and obviously it became a major talk in Paris with news of the portrait before the public had actually seen it.

The People Reaction and the Paintings Downfall

As soon as moment of truth came, both Amélie and Sargent were not ready for any negative reactions of the viewer. The portrait, critics cried, was ugly, obscene, and scandalous; the fallen strap of the dress and its body-hugging quality screamed vulgarity, while Amélie’s famously pale flesh looked corpse-like. Because of that portrait Amélie went from the darling of Paris society to a laughingstock, and cruel cartoons of her appeared in newspapers and magazines. Sargent, for his part, received a severe blow to his reputation as well; besides that, after the fiasco surrounding the painting, the Gautreaus refused to purchase it.

Later on, Sargent painted again the offending shoulder strap putting it in proper position. Eventually, despite of all the setbacks, his career then recovered and flourished and for the rest of his entire career he claimed that Madame X was the best art work he had ever did. In 1916 he then sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Like this article? You may also want to read the articles about abstract paintings as well as contemporary paintings. Or take a look on paintings we have in our site and see if you could find one that fits your personality, and buy abstract art that you like.

How to position your subject properly?

Posted in Cool Ideas with tags , , , on November 2, 2009 by

Posing is deciding on what body position the subject will take, and positioning is very important to a painting. Next to it is considering considerations of the subject.


Common position on portraits, people usually sees this in paintings such executive portraits. However, don’t leave the subject standing in an open space. Make them stand on a desk, a chair or a credenza table decorated with personal items. This will balance out the composition and give the viewer a better feel for the subject if the corrects setting is chosen.


This is a better option for subjects since this has a more casual feel or for those can’t stand for longer periods of time. Of course, find a chair that fits the person’s personality to add more drama to the portraits. Take for an instance a bartender would be perfectly matched perched on a bar stool, a professor will look good on the edge of a desk and a business man will look regal sitting in a wing-backed chair for an executive portrait.

There are numerous posing options for someone who is sitting. Each pose gives a different ambiance. I listed some of them:

  • Inclining forward and propping an arm across the knee-conversational
  • Head-in-hand with elbow on knee-contemplative
  • Head-in-hands with both elbows on the knees-friendly or approachable
  • Leaned back, legs crossed-easy going
  • Knees together with ankles crossed and to the side-demure
  • Knees spreading apart, elbow on each knee, hands interlocked-confident

Hand Positioning

Positioning the subjects arm is also important. This will make the subject more comfortable and will make the painting more appealing. You can try these hand positions:

  • Hand in the pocket
  • On the back of a chair
  • Holding something
  • Doing some busy works like knitting, sketching, and using a calculator


This is the biggest mistake of most portrait artists by sticking their subject dead-center in the composition. This will make the painting look boring.

The perfect way to decide where your subject should be is through the use of the Tule of Thirds. Rule of Thirds tells that the most interesting composition is obtained by visually dividing your canvas into thirds vertically. Meaning to say, your canvas will be divided into nine areas. The ideal composition will have the subject in the intersection of lines in the upper left-hand corner, upper right-hand corner, the lower left-hand corner or the lower right-hand corner.

Remember all these tips and you will create a strong pose in your portrait!

Unlike portraits, abstract art paintings are easier to paint. Since abstract paintings are created more of lines, shapes and combination of colors, positioning is not that obvious. So if you’re the type of artist who does not want to pay much attention to your subject’s position, you may want to try an abstract art painting instead.

Varnishing or Sealing?

Posted in Cool Ideas with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by

If you are the type of artist who likes to paint in watercolors on an alternate support as clay board or watercolor canvas, you have two options to choose from: either you frame behind glass as with a traditional watercolor, implementing the same safety measures and that is the painting itself does not come into direct contact with the glass and that there is a space between the artwork and the glass or you seal your work and frame as an oil or acrylic painting. Since the paint lifts so easily off of these surfaces, for me, this is the safest sealing and varnishing.

The advantage of the first one is that, if you paint in large surfaces, a matted painting framed behind glass can be expensive to pay for and a heavy one to hang on your wall. As what other artists claiming, paintings on the larger sized watercolor canvas sealed and varnished sell much better since they are easier to frame and the frames are lighter without the glass. There is a school of thought that also accepts the truth that oils sells as higher prices as than watercolors. Probably it’s the long tradition of oil painting that adds a certain glass. Victorian watercolorists took great pains using body color and gum Arabic to intensify a painting, this way it will appear like an oil to be able to get higher prices for their work. As for me, I looked at framing without glass as means to transport works easier for shows, to say nothing of it being safer.

I try using many different techniques to come up with a sealing method that I prefer to use now. I like a glossy finish, so the products I mention are all about accomplishing this goal. For clay board and canvas paintings, let’s start with the clay board fixative. I suggest that you use three coats, don’t’ forget to allow enough time to make it dry in application of each layer, and then use the Krylon Triple-Thick Clear Glaze (one coat of this product is equal to three coats of other clear acrylic fixative). Apply at least two coats until you achieve the finish you want. And to complete the process, I usually spray six thin layer of UV resistant varnish. However, when doing this, you should keep in mind some reminders: first, big space (make sure you have one); make sure nothing is near by that may get even a little of the spray; if you have a glasses, you may want to take them off; and make sure the room is well-ventilated.

Another technique is recommended by Golden for varnishing acrylics. In this technique it requires an isolation layer so that this layer would protect the acrylic. Use Golden soft gel for the isolation layer. Mix two parts gel to one part water and brush it on. I usually apply this layer onto watercolor canvas. Despite the glossy finish, it wasn’t as glossy as I liked, but maybe if you’re looking for more of a matte finish, you may appreciate the look. I didn’t like applying this with a brush either. The mix is quite watery and brushes easily, but I preferred spraying. This layer is followed up by the MSA Archival Varnish. For prints, this is up to eight thin layers. I do at least six coats for paintings and prints. It’s an easy precaution to protect your work.

I already tried these two techniques using watercolors on paper. I set up the work on mat board before I start. The good thing about this is that you will get really good looking product after you finished the process. The gloss finish will make it more attracting and the abstract painting looks created from a watercolor when the paints were first applies, juicy and wet.

Like this article? You may also check out our site for contemporary paintings. We have several abstract paintings you can choose from including their price.