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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Abstract Painting: Not Meant To Be Taken Literally

Since I am a newbie blogger who either lacks inspiration or the diligence to write on a daily basis or at the very least, 3 times a week, I will just draw and post it here... yikes!

I have no formal training in drawing or painting, which I suppose is obvious. You may check out samples of my masterpieces *ahem* on previous blog. I mostly do abstracts, that way, not many technicalities are required such as perspective, proportions, shading, lighting, etc.. etc! I just sort of let the colors and the rhythm (there's rhythm?) flow with my emotions ... err okay, I really do not know how the finished product would look like because I actually have no plan or any concrete subject in mind each time I start, so it's true I go with the flow and the rhythm too because I listen to music while I'm on it. I concentrate more on the colors, texture, shapes, lines and composition (yes, I understand composition... a bit) then my subject becomes clear to me and directs me.... talks to me (huh?). I think of the title after I finished my painting. Well, it's because I need to see the finished product too and decide how I feel about it before I can label it.

In abstract art, the subject is stripped of realism making it harder to critique. It communicates more through feelings and moods, so it's very subjective. The viewers' reactions will depend on the impact it made on them upon seeing it not so much on lingering and pondering on its meaning, trying to connect the painting to its title because most of the time, there seems to be no connection at all! But believe me between the artist, the painting and its title exist a bond, which sadly sometimes exclude onlookers :)) So don't fret if you can't interpret any of it, after all abstraction is really not meant to be taken literally. Especially in total abstraction where it bears no trace or any semblance to anything recognizable, which is my forte  You may use your imagination 'though and find some structure in the process. You know... like when a psychiatrist show you some inkblots and ask for your interpretations LOL!

For this project, I will use my fresh Faber-Castell 24 Oil Pastels on my 9" X 12" sketch pad. I like the quality of the Faber-Castell Oil Pastels because they're smooth and run a good texture on almost all types of  papers although it's not as soft as I want it to be for better blending. Oil Pastels could also be used on canvas but you will need the artist grade. The Faber-Castell oil pastels' colors are vivid due to the good concentration of pigments that bind well on paper. Best of all, it's not too pricey for a good quality oil pastel. They have a more expensive high grade line but the regular oil pastels, which I'm going to use are recommendable for beginners. It's also safe for children because it's non-toxic, but I don't endorse it for those below 7 years of age because the size is smaller than the regular crayons, they might swallow it (uh oh!). Also, it's softer than crayons so it's prone to breaking. If you want cheaper ones but also of good quality, try Dixie's Oil Pastels. You can buy both brands at any National Bookstore Branch.

If you want the artist grade type, you may try Sennelier Oil Pastels, which of course cost so much more. This brand was created by Henry Sennelier in 1949 for Pablo Picasso who reportedly became the renowned Spanish artist's favorite due to its softness and smoothness that glides like a lips stick! It could be too slippery for some artists, especially for beginners. It contains Cadium and Cobalt pigments favored by oil painters that are toxic materials. Never scratch your eyes while working with this material or try the colors on your skin.

As I write this, I have not yet started with my project. I am thinking of documenting my progress but it would be hard to take pictures and draw alternately...  besides, it will disrupt the artistic flow :)) So I will go back to my blogging once I'm done with it and smeared my scanner for uploading.

*Tick tock, tick tock* After more than 48 hours, I'm finished with the art project and glad to share it with you. It really did not take me that long to finish it but you see, I happen to have a job too. Tadddaaah!

Youthful Hollow  - Oil Pastel 9 x 12

Colorful on the outside
   you seem,

Cheerful and bright
   your future seem,

But Inverted Dreams
    you deem,

Now future is hollow
   but never dim... 

For no tomorrow is ever assured... 
and yesterday could not be recovered,

Persist the youthful hollow hunger,
cease not to chase the dreams.


  1. Hello... Laarni?

    Sennelier yung ginamit mo sa painting mo?

    Ang ginagamit kong pastel ay Pentel ang tatak. Maganda din, smooth gamitin. Pero mukang okay din ang Faber Castel ah, pero sabi mo hindi mo mablend ng ayos??

    Anyways naghahanap talaga ako ng sennelier dito, kaso di ko alam kung saan :) Thanks! Sana mabasa mo ito. ^_^

    1. Hi Pao Kun,

      No, I only used Faber-Castell for this one. And yes,I can't blend it so well.... not very smooth.

      Check out this site You might find some good quality oil pastels from this shop. This is where I purchase most of my stuff for my acrylic paintings... I will be blogging about acrylic painting soon and post my works.

      By the way, thanks for following my blog.

  2. Have you tried soaking the tip of the oil pastel in orange oil to smoothened it out?

    1. Hi Amado Dinampo Jr.,

      No I have not tried it but will check out as suggested... I think linseed oil would also be a good try. I am right now enjoying acrylics on my canvass but will soon pick up my oil pastels.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Amado Dinampo, Jr.

      I have not gone back to my oil pastels because I'm finishing my acrylics, so I haven't tried your suggestion as yet. Thanks again! :)

      By the way, I'd like to see some of your artworks too... please leave your link here.

  4. Hello Amado Dinampo Jr.! Thanks for dropping by once again.

    Re your questions, nope... I just share my art from experience :)

  5. Hello there, thanks for the reply. Have you tried painting on gypsum board like hardiflex instead on canvass? Do you have a facebook account?

    1. Hi There!

      I have not tried it yet but I've seen acrylics on wood... I'm sure gypsum board/hardiflex would also make a nice surface if primed properly so as the paint would not seep in.

      Check out my FB Page ...


  6. Are you from Davao City? What is your cellphone number?

  7. Are you from Davao City? What is your cellphone number?