New Abstractions

Those of you who follow this blog know that along with the life drawings that I’ve recently done using the iPad and Procreate app, I’ve also been working on a series of abstract compositions created with the same tools. Below are the latest three drawings. I really enjoy using multiple textures in overlapping layers to create complex patterns and shapes. At the same time I try to make a unified and balanced composition. These were done as the earlier abstracts, i.e. built up and evolving gradually in an improvised free flowing manner.

Abstraction created in Procreate app using iPad and Apple pencil
Abstraction created in Procreate app using iPad and Apple pencil
Abstraction created in Procreate app using iPad and Apple pencil

New Abstracts

Here are my latest experiments in color and composition. As with the previous abstractions, these were created with the Procreate app on my iPad. I am amazed at this combination of digital tools and the variety of creative approaches it provides.

Like the earlier abstractions that I’ve posted here, these were done using layers. The layers work like layers of glass, one on top of another and the images “drawn” on each layer build up to create the final image when they are combined. This is a wonderful way to work with this kind of project because each layer allows for separate control of each of the elements of the drawing. You can move, recolor, resize, add or subtract any element at will and recombine them by changing the position of individual layers up or down in the stacking order.

“Square Dance”
“Lambent Night”
“Autumn Sunset”

New Abstractions

Putting these abstract designs together has been a wonderful way to learn some of the capabilities of the Procreate app for iPad. In addition, it had been an adventure in what  might be called “cumulative composition”. I usually start with a base layer of either a solid color or of closely related colors and gradually add elements with the addition of several more layers. I call it “cumulative” because I don’t start with a plan for what it will look like. I just put some elements down and try to build up a composition piece by piece, as a collage, until it feels complete. In that sense, it seems akin to an improvisation.

An organizing theme may be color relationships or variations of a given shape (rectangle, square, circle). One of the techniques available in the app is to vary the transparency of elements on a layer. Using that, shapes can be intersected and combined in various ways which at the same time mixes the overlapped colors, adding variety. The main thing I aim for is a sense of balance, variety and textural consistency within each composition.

Creating these abstractions is at once a kind of meditation and a search for visual unity. It is both calming and creatively energizing at the same time. That may sound contradictory but it describes the way I feel while constructing these images.


warm & cool
“Warm & Cool”  created on iPad using Procreate app

“Nocturnal”  created on iPad using Procreate app

Sand Painting.jpg
“Sand Painting”  created on iPad using Procreate app

New Digital Abstractions

I continue to be captivated by the creative possibilities contained in the Procreate app using the iPad and Apple pencil. If this is beginning to sound like an Ad for Apple and Procreate, so be it. I can’t stop trying new things with this set of tools. Combining colors, textures, and shapes in various and free-flowing ways has me mesmerized with creative energy. How long that will last, I don’t know. In the meantime, here are the latest results of my current obsession.


spot on
Spot On” digital drawing with Procreate app on iPad

Electric Fudge” digital drawing with Procreate app on iPad

Flare” digital drawing with Procreate app on iPad

Over and Under” digital drawing with Procreate app on iPad

“Doodle” Abstractions

One of the things I am enjoying most about using the iPad with Procreate app is the variety of artistic expression that is readily available. Playing with the numerous tools, colors and textures has been both exploratory and meditative. I have wanted to wander through the possibilities of abstraction and, using that as a basis, freely playing (doodling) with many of the elements available in Procreate, I have tried to “improvise” coherent and balanced compositions. They start from simple combinations of shapes or colors and, gradually pieced together, they evolve in a kind of collage, ending as something that makes some kind of sense to me. It’s a kind of personal magic. I find it interesting that there is both a meditative sense and an exhilarating creative burst in putting these compositions together. This “free-wheeling” approach has helped me to learn some of the tools and techniques of using Procreate as well as enabling me to create something new.

abstract one “improvisation” with Procreate app on iPad

abstract two “improvisation” with Procreate app on iPad

abstract three “improvisation” with Procreate app on iPad

abstract four “improvisation” with Procreate app on iPad

More abstracts

I can’t help myself. Playing with the Procreate app on the iPad is very seductive. The various possibilities of brush tools, colors and layering make for an endless desire to compose these fanciful images. This is, for me, a new kind of creative freedom and I’m having a great time. I hope you’ll share some of my enthusiasm on seeing these. Thanks for looking.



“Lumen” created with Procreate on an iPad

“Weightless” created with Procreate on an iPad

“Chromalinear” created with Procreate on an iPad

Toying with Abstraction

I have been enamored of abstract art for many years but have been reluctant to try my hand at it. A recent purchase of an iPad and Apple pencil along with the Procreate app have started the abstract juices flowing (or at least dripping)! For a long time I have wanted to try abstraction using acrylic paints but didn’t really know how to go about it and didn’t want to waste a lot of canvas and paints. Using the iPad has allowed me to freely “play” with ideas in a very spontaneous and inventive way. There are various brush tools available in the app and I used these experiments to discover some of the techniques that can be used with them.


“Radiation” 12/18

“Spots Before My Eyes” 12/18

“Happy Brushes” 12/18

“Klee Play” 12/18

There is no question that these are frivolous and incomplete experiments dealing with the elements of composition; shape, texture, color and value but I was surprised at how “freeing” the experience has been and thought it might be of interest to share some of the results. I hope to do more experimenting along these lines and will post occasional examples.

%d bloggers like this: