Tasksheet – Ways of Abstracting

Transcribing from a work of art.

Chose a favourite famous work you would like to explore & follow the four points below:

  • 1) Make a study from your chosen work, thinking about COLOUR ONLY. Simplify the palette by using only white, Payne’s Grey and two other colours of your choice. These colours can be unrelated to the original work, mix the colours together to make a colour range. Simplify the shapes, enjoy the colour, and explore its possibilities, remember these are just small studies.
  • 2) Make line drawings from your original painting, think about what you are focusing on. What draws you in? Detail? Texture? Make several versions. Use charcoal, pencil or ink (or all three!)
  • 3) Now take these drawings and make 5 line versions of them, look and choose different possibilities, the idea is to take from, explore and re-invent the image. Remember ONLY 5 LINES, squint and look for the big shapes, less is more with this exercise!
  • 4) Lay out your colour studies and your 5 line drawings and start to pair them up… You are looking for possible pairings or marriages and then using these couples, make a new combined colour and 5 line study. You may have to “edit” the image further, 3 lines? 3 colours? Enjoy experimenting, layering and losing yourself in the process… There are no rights and wrongs, only endless possibilities. Take one of these studies to look at and develop on further.
  • See how far you can push into Abstraction. Are you including any clues to help refer-back to the original? Subject? Colour? Detail? Content or meaning?