3 Tips For Seeing Abstractly

I recently came across some old articles I had clipped from “The Artists Magazine”.  This was written about 4-5 years ago but still works. These 3 tips for seeing abstractly were written by artist Cathy Johnson.

SQUINT – This is the easiest and most direct means of simplifying a complex subject. Squinting at a subject accentuates the values and allows you to see the basic forms without all the confusing details.
TIME IT – Allow yourself a set period of time to sketch your subject. Try to get the main shapes down in 10-30 seconds – no time for a lot of detail!
REMOVE COLOR – Look at your subject through a piece of tinted glass, Polaroid (polarizing) sunglasses or a tinted plastic viewfinder to simplify your values. By removing much of the local color, you’re better able to see the basic structures underlying your subject.

Abstract art can be so much fun and therapeutic! The shapes and the colors you choose are a wonderful way to build your foundation for representational work.

“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” Jonathan Swift


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