Shapes and Colors

What constitutes an abstract composition? For me it’s not about representing any THING but rather, creating a visual experience. It’s more than just eye candy but that IS part of it. I try to make images that catch and hold the eye with interesting shapes, colors and the relationship between those elements. For an abstract to be effective it must work on several levels. The composition as a whole should have a unity and balance as with any work of art. This can be done with the arrangement of objects and the colors used. The placement of elements in the composition establishes the relationship between them and color can be used to group or separate them.

In addition to unity there should be a sense of motion or tension. I find that diagonal lines and shapes help to create that effect and I often use them in my abstracts. Being able to work in layers has been an important part of the evolution of the abstract images I’ve posted here over the past year. All of these works were created in Procreate app which uses layers to make digital paintings. Building up textures and colors, sometimes mixing and sometimes opaquely covering areas provides variety and complexity to the layers of visual material used.

One technique included in all three of these compositions is edge shadowing. After creating an object in Procreate, a shadowed edge can be “drawn” on a lower layer by using an airbrush tool. When finished, the objects and their shadowed edges combine giving a raised or levitated effect. This separates them from lower layers and surrounding objects.

Author: Jeff Gold

I'm a retired musician (oboist) now living in Vermont and exploring various avenues of art, urban sketching, life drawing, block printing and digital abstractions.

2 thoughts on “Shapes and Colors”

  1. These are all very interesting. I enjoyed looking for the objects the shadows and seeing how each stands out from the rest of the work.


    1. Thanks Donna. Shadowing is an interesting yet simple technique that can add interest to a composition. It’s also a good way to emphasize certain objects. Glad you found them interesting to look at. Thanks for writing.


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