Use patterns to fill the rest of the spaces. Make sure no single pattern is touching the same pattern.
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I start with a small shape, such as a little circle, drop, triangle, spiral etc. Then I expand with lines and shapes from that. This “second” level is often quite random, but it comes from a feeling for what can balance or create an interesting contrast. When I get tired of making one type of shapes and direction of movement, I add other, contrasting ones. Sometimes the “centre” can be other things, text:
Most of the doodles in the link I gave you, are photographs of my moleskine sketchbooks. I sometimes scan, and sometimes digitise with photoshop and then vectorise with Illustrator. Here are an example. It was originally a tiny drawing on bad quality paper:
In short Doodling is great (as Boblet mentioned). Start with a shape, and expand on it (Personally I don’t shade until later unless I lose focus or am considering adding more to the doodle but still unsure) . An old teacher of mine had a catchphrase of ‘there but not there’ it’s something I consider a lot when scribbling. It doesn’t have to be literal. White space is good. It allows for imagination. This would account for why you see the heart shape in the piece that you posted – the heart is ‘there but not there’
Find something small and circular. For example, a cup or a roll of duct tape. Also use a Sharpie™ with both a fine and regular tip for this whole project; it makes it pop more than pen or pencil.
…and yes: doodle. Doodle as much as you can. Everywhere, on everything.
Trace the circle many times with multiple overlapping areas.
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Drawing across the canvas with random lines that split up the blank as much as possible. Send these lines all the way across the page. Don’t leave anything cut off in the middle of the paper but continue to draw the lines from side to the other, without end.
It depends on how much effort and time you dedicate to it for detail, outline and proportion. You could spend an hour on it without putting effort into it, or maybe half an hour for concentration. It varies for different individuals.
Fill in the majority of the shapes left. Use random patterns and similar stuff. Preferably go for big shapes but you’re free to use small ones too. The important essence of nothingness, though, is to follow the random patterns all the time, letting the randomness decide the form for you.
Hm, of course, rather subjective, but I give you my two pennies. At the risk of tooting my own horn, here are some of my similar abstract scribbles.
I am not a fan of symmetry as such, so I like the variation of “imbalance”. I find the combination with contrasting shapes more interesting. However: a certain amount of repetition is a good idea. I think a good deal about texture, contrast, balance.
I do not like to pencil it out first; it interrupts the process (I do figurative and pencil drawings too, but that is a different thing for me.)
Right, here is basically how I do it. I rarely have an image in my head beforehand, it pretty much grows organically. What often happens in the process though, is that I sometimes wish I hadn´t outlined too far ahead. As it grows I see new things, and would like to have one shape above another (but I often realise this too late). However, I do not bother doing the same thing over again, it just goes into the mental database for solving abstract doodles.
Fill some of the shapes in that arise in the areas between all of the lines. Just keep using your pencil. There is no pattern to follow; just make it a block of choices in one part of your canvas.
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Going back to basics is usually how I start a doodle that might lead to a good drawing or illustration. Generally I draw a shape, followed by another and another. I let them flow into one another, or cross one another – depends on my mood. But it always starts with a shape of some sort. With practicing, I’ve also found it good to sometimes not draw an object in particular as if I mess up I spend too much time trying to fix it and not enough time actually practicing. This produces a decent amount of purposeless doodles but a great amount of practice material. You’d be amazed at what you pick up yourself by drawing a page full of circles!
This is a quick show and tell of a sketch to vector process, while this is a more detailed account of each stage of mixing digital with the non digital. The reason for referencing these links is to emphasise that this process starts with doodling/a drawing that came from a doodle. (Here’s a super basic how to doodle, it does doodling in steps – sometimes it’s good to peel things back to a simple form to help get ideas going naturally as opposed to trying to think of the final product first).
Fill in the rest by just putting a cross in them. Go on – try it; it might not seem like a good idea but it will look great.
Forgotten detail that deserves a place in the answer as well as in the comments – listening to music is a great asset while drawing!
‘Abstact’ is an adjective meaning ‘existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence, or dealing with ideas rather than events.’
Have you ever considered drawing a “Nothingness”? It is really about abstract drawing, drawing with artistic inspiration without specific intentions in mind but moved totally by the creative spirit. Hard to pinpoint exactly what nothingness ought to be, as that really is up to you – the artist – but it is certainly possible to provide some guidance on setting out on this drawing experience.
Alternate filling the background from black to white in the patterned areas, so that a pattern with a black background is touching a pattern with a white background.
Here’s a little more on doodling as a creative process if you’re interested.
The best part of a nothingness is: no one can say its rubbish because it is nothing it doesn’t have to look like anything they don’t know what it is meant to look like so they can’t actually criticize it.
Works best if you use pencil and don’t color it in! Repeat one pattern more than once but spread the patterns that are the same around the page to achieve that randomness that is the essence of your drawing.
If you make the mistake of coloring it in, it might end up looking like this picture. But anything goes really – whatever inspiration grabs you, the artist, is what matters the most. If you decide you want to colour in your nothingness after it is finished, you can use a texta or fine linear to go over the patterns to create a cleaner effect.
The shapes that are smaller would work best in Step 2; spread them out!! Be creative and put your feeling into it! Don’t be afraid to let your creativity “spread out” a lot more than it used to when you first just started experimenting with it.
Start with one simple strong shape. Do not overthink, and add contrasting shapes to “grow out of” or counterbalance. Repetition can be very effective. Contrast in shape is (often) useful/necessary. In the beginning, simple ink drawings might be the way to go (pencils etc gives too many additional options to keep in mind).
Black and white can be extremely effective and delightfully dramatic. Maybe most important: learn when to stop. Often these things gets overdone, and the strength of the abstract can often be in the deceivingly simple.
You can find abstract inspiration around you: maybe the shape of a part of a chair can be a starting point.
Photo of sketch: Photoshop digitised version: Illustrator vector and colour play:
Español: crear un dibujo abstracto al azar, Deutsch: Ein willkürliches, abstraktes Bild malen, Português: Criar um Desenho Abstrato, Italiano: Creare un Disegno Astratto a Caso, Русский: создать случайный абстрактный рисунок
The image above seems to start with the centre circle, and two flame-like shapes coming from that. The artist has brought in a contrasting/contradictory part to one of them: the “jagged” line at the bottom (gives me associations to negative space and cogs). This gives it a little of a “surprise”: the image consists not only of identical wavy-flamy shapes. You want some contrast in there. Note also that there are repetitions of some shapes.
I tried paying more attention to my own doodles but I feel that there must be some guidelines on how to get a good result. I’m not asking the question of “how to draw” or “how to get better at it …” as practice makes perfect. But are there any guidelines on how to start abstract artwork? I’m thinking, like in chess, these are good ways to open a game and so forth.
I’ve been dabbling with this sort of stuff lately too. I’ve managed to pick up a few handy things along the way.
It is interesting questions you ask, because I have not really thought about this in this way, so I am learning something here too.
Mostly, I would say: do not stress it, do not think too critically about it. Just doodle away, sometimes you will surprise yourself, and you will create a little, perfect doodle 🙂 Do ten post-it-doodles a day.
I personally find that I make abstract art when I have a creative block, then I lose the block and I feel inspired. Then I start to sketch and form an idea.
Image is by Peter Draws. Here is the image source – (thanks @Bart Arondson for pointing out the need to credit the source) ps. his youtube channel is fantastic 🙂
I start with a line. Usually a long, curvy; often spirally one. These drawings do not have a centre as described in the first method. They often end up with a like ribbon-like structure.
In step 3 of Method 1, don’t fill in all the small shapes. This cannot be stressed enough because it affects the overall appearance of your artwork. Be wary of using pen. This is mainly because pen ink often ends up looking like someone’s bored doodle they might make sitting through a long telephone call.
You want art, not banal scribbling. Never give up – “nothingness” is key to abstract art, so you can’t go wrong! If you don’t like something, try adding to it, the worst outcome could be that you still don’t like it.
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Paper (not too big or you won’t be able to fill them all in, the biggest you might be able to do within 1 day is A4)
I recently came across this beautiful artwork (image bellow) and there is a youtube video on how the artist made it. The beautiful thing was that the image is nothing specific, it looks like a heart but that was not intended.
I often leave tiny doodles, thinking I continue them later. When I go back to them, I often find they have a pleasing self-containment, and adding more is not really going to make it better.
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Start with a blank canvas. In this case, a simple piece of blank paper. (See Things You’ll Need for size suggestions.)
Hope I’ve given some direction – I tried to ease my subjective opinions up with a few links to further information that might help you find what works for you as a ‘go to’ process 🙂