I strongly believe in recycling. This applies to life style and in this case, to my art. I often approach these digital abstractions as collages composed of many different elements. Some are “painted” directly on the digital “canvas”. Others might be “cut and pasted” into the composition as in a traditional collage.

In these three new abstractions, I’ve used bits and pieces of some of my earlier works as compositional elements. Sometimes these “recycled” bits are obvious but they can also be hidden and mixed into the patchwork of the finished piece.

All works were created in Procreate app for iPad with an Apple pencil.

This new composition incorporates bits from an earlier work shown below. Three cut and altered pieces were placed on a lower layer which is partially obscured by upper layers.
The three cut and altered pieces of the original, as placed on a lower layer
The source for the three cut pieces is this older original composition.
One of the elements of this new composition (lower right corner) was taken from the original composition below.
Earlier composition from which a piece was used
This new composition also contains parts of earlier works. (not shown)

Worlds Apart

These images share certain aspects. Each is predominantly composed of a secondary color; orange, green or purple. The backgrounds are done in a painterly manner using digital brushes that simulate broad strokes on rough surfaces with some spray painted effects. In all of them, above the backgrounds, are small abstract objects, some geometric and some more organic in shape. Most of the objects are black, standing out boldly against the more diffuse backgrounds. Each composition is intended to create its own separate world of space and relationships. They were all created in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.


This posting is in contrast to the previous two. Rather than the shimmering of gold for the backgrounds, I’ve used solid black. Every so often I try to fight my natural tendency towards complexity and have kept these images to a very basic color palette and simple shapes. In reality they all stem from the same digital composition, each a mutation of the original concept. All were created in Procreate app for iPad.

Original design concept

More Gold

In my recent abstracts, I’ve enjoyed working with images using gold as backgrounds. Here are three new compositions incorporating digital photos of gold surfaces. As with the last posting, I have used a very limited palette so that the golden color and textures show through beneath bold geometric shapes. They were created digitally in Procreate app for iPad with added surface textures generated in iColorama app.

All That Glitters …

All that glitters is not gold. But gold does glitter and reflects light brilliantly. I’ve collected digital images of golden surfaces and used some as backgrounds for these abstract designs. Keeping to a limited palette of black and various reds, the circles, lines and geometric shapes float over and blend with the shimmering golden light behind. All of the designs were created digitally in Procreate app for iPad.

Layers and Lines

My working method for these new abstractions could be summed up in these two words, layers and lines. They were created digitally in Procreate app for ipad. The complexity of the designs is achieved with various shapes and overlapping colors that are built up in layers. Some of the shapes are transparent and some opaque. Line work was later added over this complex base. Two methods were used for creating the lines. A drawing tool, technical pen, was used for the thinner lines. Most of the wider lines were made by using a medium hard air brush tool. To make these slightly wider lines, the air brush tool was used in the eraser mode to cut the lines out of existing solid shapes. When the images were complete, I felt that they could be enhanced by digitally adding a slightly embossed or raised texture. This was done in another app, iColorama, which is normally used for digital photo enhancement.

You can see them at full size by clicking on each image below.

The finer light lines were made with the technical pen tool drawn over the layered base. Wider lines were made with the air brush tool (used in eraser mode) to cut through existing solid shapes.

Back to Life?

It’s been a long time since I posted any new figure drawings. Our local life drawing group has not met for many months due to the Covid pandemic. As a result, the only option was to draw from photos of models, something I don’t usually do and don’t enjoy as compared with drawing from the live model. In addition, there is a dynamic, a kind of group creative energy that I miss. It’s been hard for me to motivate myself to begin but I’m hoping that soon our group will start up again. I want to be ready to jump in and start “real” life drawing when that happens. So here are the efforts that I’ve been struggling with to achieve that goal. They feel both overworked and yet unfinished but I know that it will take a while to get back to my old comfort zone. The first two were done some time ago in hopes of energizing myself to do more figure drawing. The rest were done recently and I hope they will help to keep me going in the right direction.

This was done with oil pastels, a medium that I haven’t used before
drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals

More recent drawings

drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals
drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals
drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals
drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals
drawn with Nupastels and Cretacolor’s chunky charcoals

A Rhythm of Circles

I love using circles and round shapes for composing my abstractions. They can act as anchors or focal points as well as locations from which to radiate light or movement using line and color. In all three of these images circular shapes formed a starting point and central part of the compositions. Incorporating these shapes suggested using curved or rounded objects and lines to connect the elements of each design producing a “rhythm of circles”.

They were created digitally in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple Pencil.

We have recently been enjoying old Danny Kaye movies like The Court Jester and Hans Christian Anderson, wonderful comic family classics. Thinking about circles brought to mind this charming quote.

Draw a circle, not a heart, around the one you love because a heart can break but a circle goes on forever.

Danny Kaye

A Potpourri of Confetti

Being almost housebound by the pandemic along with mid-winter snows in Northeastern Vermont makes one yearn for COLOR. Random shapes floating in a sea of contrasting colors is what these abstractions are all about. They are confetti-like in their sense of dispersion and provide a potpourri of color. I hope they brighten your day wherever and whenever you see them. They were created digitally in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.

Bolder on Black

Most of my abstract designs evolve over a white background giving the impression of having been done on white paper or maybe a white canvas. What happens if bold saturated colors are placed over a black background? I did just that and came up with some rather vibrant images.

One of the techniques used to create these designs in Procreate app is applying blending modes. The objects in the compositions are layered as if they were painted on clear glass or plastic then stacked one on top of the other to compose the final image. Blending modes allow for mixing or fragmenting the overlapped objects that are stacked. Part of one object might cause objects below it to change color where it overlaps. Sometimes the value (lightness or darkness) of the color will be affected as well. This is a great tool for making complex combinations of shapes.