I'm Alaina. Artist, brush maker, texture whisperer, and design geek. here to help you get creative with Procreate.

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May 12, 2022

Abstract Art using a Reference Photo

Sometimes with abstract art, a blank page can be really intimidating because of the wide open realm of possibility it represents. You can do any shapes, colors, techniques, patterns etc – the possibilities are limitless! This can be really scary and sometimes result in giving up before even getting started.

That is why, in this video, I wanted to explore the idea of using a reference photo as a starting point for abstract art – not to try and recreate the image from it, but instead to take inspiration from the colors, patterns, shapes and general vibe of it. This can help you get started and have something to fall back on when you get stuck.

For instance with this piece, I started out painting a wobbly shape that was generally inspired by the sea turtle in my reference photo, but toward the end I got stuck not knowing how to continue. So I went back to the reference photo at that point and took inspiration from the pattern on the legs and shell of the sea turtle, which gave my abstract piece a stronger concept.

I hope that this process can help you train your creative muscles and turn that blank page into something beautiful!

I would love to see what you come up with! You’re very welcome to tag me on Instagram @alainajensen, use #alainajensenbrushes or share your work in our free facebook group

If you have any questions please click here to contact me. I’m always happy to help!

Brushes used: Painterly

Reference photo: Sea Turtle Photo

xo, alaina