There are many different ways to paint abstractly, and each approach offers something unique. However, all paintings will inevitably contain similar elements; composition, structure, value, form and color. It is how these components are used and constructed that determines the outcome. The most obvious characteristic of abstract painting is that the imagery is non-representational – this can be slight, partial or complete. This is a spectrum ranging from Salvador Dali’s dream-like pieces, to the geometric lines of a Jackson Pollock painting. Creating a work of abstract art requires intuition and freedom from the shackles of realism.

It also demands that the artist look beyond what they can physically see and translate intangible emotions onto the canvas. This is why abstract artists are so fascinating; they have the ability to free their minds from visual restrictions and create something totally unique and left-field. One of the most popular methods to create abstract artwork is to use gestural brushwork to express emotions and ideas. This was a key focus of the Expressionist movement and artists like Marc Chagall, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky were pioneers in this style of abstraction. They incorporated expressive marks and an intense palette of colors to express emotion and to challenge conventions and expectations. Other types of abstract art include cubism and the flat grids of de Stijl.

Cubism was a method of forming various shapes throughout the canvas to give the illusion of three dimensions and de Stijl artists such as Piet Mondrian created simple, clean lines that evoke feelings of unity and infinity. These movements were all created as a reaction to the limitations of academic painting and realism. Aside from this, the main purpose of abstract art is to encourage the involvement and imagination of the viewer. This is a completely intangible experience that will be different for each person depending on their personal state of mind. The viewer is given the opportunity to interpret the art in their own way and the results can be spectacular, calming or mesmerizing.

Although many people claim that ‘abstract’ art is easy to do, it is not without its challenges and a lot of skill is required to achieve a successful result. Having a good understanding of color theory and how to mix and combine the right shades is essential. This will help you to create a more elegant and sophisticated work. In addition, it is important to be aware that abstract works of art can be quite ambiguous. It can be very easy for the untrained eye to miss a hidden message or meaning behind the work. It is for this reason that it is important to read up on the art history of each piece you are considering purchasing. If you are interested in adding a piece of abstract art to your home, there are many places where you can buy it. You can visit a gallery near you, find up-and-coming artists on Instagram or even purchase from a private seller.