Abstract Art Decorative Painting

Dana Hinders
By mastering a few simple decorative painting techniques, you can bring the look of abstract art to your home.

Abstract art decorative painting projects provide a fun way to create unique home décor.

What is Abstract Art?

Abstract art is art that uses color and shape in a non-representational way. Unlike a painting of a flower or a basket of fruit, abstract artwork isn't necessarily supposed to "look" like anything specific. The goal of the abstract artist is to convey feelings and emotions - not to simply replicate his surroundings.

Popular abstract painters include Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, and Mark Rothko. Their work is colorful and lively - inspired by nature, architecture, and myth. When they based paintings on a physical object, they often simplified, exaggerated, or distorted the image to create a unique interpretation.

Special areas of interest within the field of abstract art include cubism, abstract expressionism, and neoplasticism.

If you're interested in learning more about abstract art, check out the following books:

Abstract Art Decorative Painting Projects

You don't have to be a professional artist to create your own abstract art. If you love the look of abstract paintings, consider completing one of the following projects:

  • Create wall art on a canvas.
  • Decorate a table and chair set for your child's bedroom.
  • Jazz up the front of a plain cabinet to add storage space to your home office.
  • Design a unique picture frame as a gift for a friend.
  • Paint pretty bookends.
  • Decorate a wooden jewelry box.
  • Perk up a plain lampshade.

Abstract Painting Techniques

If your style is fresh and modern, it's easy to bring the look of abstract art to your home. Even if your budget won't allow the purchase of an original painting by a well-known artist, you can fake this look using a number of simple decorative painting techniques. For example:

  • Create a color blocked design by painting squares or stripes in your favorite shades. Use painter's tape to create an even grid on your work surface.
  • Trace objects around your home to design an interesting composition of circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, and other geometric shapes.
  • Use a toothbrush or an old paintbrush with stiff bristles to randomly splatter paint across a surface.
  • Fill a spray bottle with watered-down paint to create a fine mist of color over your project.
  • Take a cue from your preschooler and use your fingers to draw waves and swirls.
  • Use an old plastic comb to draw lines through an area of solid color.
  • Experiment with sponge painting to create a richly textured surface for your artwork.

Tips for Abstract Painting

Crafters with minimal painting experience may find the following tips useful:

  • Draw inspiration from the masters. Before you begin your decorative painting project, spend some time looking through an abstract art book to see what types of paintings appeal to your tastes. If you start to feel "stuck" when you're painting, refer back to these images for inspiration.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment! The world's great abstract painters knew how to take risks, so you'll want to do the same in your own abstract art decorative painting projects. Remember, you can always repaint the surface if you truly hate the results.
  • Choose colors you truly love. Color is a very important part of abstract art. If you don't like the colors you've chosen, you're unlikely to be satisfied with the final project.
  • Consider letting your kids help. Children typically love the idea of abstract art, so consider letting them offer input on your project. You may be surprised by their ideas.
  • Let go of your expectations. Abstract art isn't supposed to directly represent anything. If you look at your abstract art decorative painting project and it makes you happy, your work is done.
Abstract Art Decorative Painting