These new digital abstractions are all about texture. The three were composed with the same palette of colors and texture “brushes” in Procreate app for iPad. There are several benefits to working digitally. For me, doing abstractions, the most important advantage is working in layers. Using Procreate, I can create textures, each on a separate layer and arrange or alter the layers individually. This allows for changes to color, density, transparency and the position of objects in the final composition. I can make changes along the way, emphasizing or minimizing any of the individual elements on any layer. The end result is a complex combination of the individual transparent layers stacked one on top of another.

Pastel Variants

The abstract compositions in today’s post all have similar elements, a shared pastel palette of colors, textured background, geometric objects and straight and jagged lines. They are all variations on an angular theme created in Procreate app for iPad using various “brushes” (drawing tools) on multiple transparent layers. Later in the post I’ll explain one of the techniques used to create them.

An interesting technique

One of my favorite techniques working in Procreate is to use tools in an eraser mode. There are many drawing tools available in this app and they can all be used in an opaque (normal) mode or as an eraser. I sometimes make an object in the opaque mode and alter it by using the same or other tools in the “eraser” mode. In all three of the abstracts above, the blue “balloon” circles were created this way.

This example shows the use of a “stipple” brush both opaquely and in an “eraser” mode. From the left; a line created opaquely with the stipple brush; circle created with stipple brush; circle with eraser mode used to make the center lighter. To the far right is a circle created in an opaque mode with lines through it made in the eraser mode.
This example shows how a solid brush can be used opaquely and in the “eraser” mode. From the left; a line created with solid brush; solid circle with lines made in “eraser” mode; solid circle with shading done in eraser mode with stipple brush. At far right is a solid circle with lines made by stipple brush in eraser mode.

Here’s a triptych of all three above abstractions

Everybody Like Compliments

Today I give you compliments. I’m referring to color of course. These abstract designs deal with diagonals and complimentary colors. The dominant palette is bright and warm with oranges, reds and yellows (something we can all use in the gray of winter). The complimentary colors are in a range of blues, serving as accents against the warmer background. The images were created digitally with Procreate app for iPad. As is often the case with my designs, the three can be combined to make triptychs since they share many attributes.

Opuses 47 and 48

When I create a new abstract design in Procreate app, a title is automatically assigned if I don’t intentionally name it. That title is “Untitled Artwork” followed by a number. I have actually done several hundred works and I don’t know where the 47 and 48 come from but that’s what they were titled. I thought it would be fun to shorten them to “opus 47” and “opus 48”. Both were built up of many layers of lines, shapes and colors. Using transparency, I was able to mix areas of color in overlapping shapes to create variety. Ellen thinks they have a “spacey” look and they reminded her that the Perseid Meteor Shower is due to occur this week.

Pixels in Pastel

All three of these digital abstracts share the same “pastel” color palette. They are composed of multiple layers of color with some overlap and transparency. Another common attribute is the texture and colors of the background layers. The backgrounds were created with a “brush” that simulates the surface of canvas. They were created in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil.

Just … Happy!

Life is beginning to return to some version of “normal” in Vermont. The rate of Covid vaccinations is almost 80% of the state’s eligible population and cases are going down substantially. We just had several days of chilly and cloudy weather but today the sun is full and the temperature mild. All things considered, I’m happy and these decorative and bright abstractions seem to reflect that mood. I hope the outlook is also brightening wherever you are. Maybe these digital designs will help. They were created in Procreate app for iPad.

Here are some arrangements as triptychs.

Feral Colors

Wild, untamed, undomesticated; those are synonyms for feral. “Untamed” splashes of color burst forth unexpectedly as I was putting these compositions together. Maybe it’s due to the arrival of spring or the easing of Covid restrictions locally. Whatever the reason, these bright colors seemed to be appropriate and using a black background helped to make them “pop”. As usual, these abstracts were created with Procreate app for ipad.

Something Borrowed and Something New

When I’m working on a new abstract design I usually combine layers of colors and shapes to make a coherent composition. I’ve done that with the three abstracts below but with a twist. Rather than “starting from scratch” and freshly creating each element, I did what collage artists do all the time; I digitally cut and pasted pieces of existing patterns to accomplish the task. Some of these disparate patterns came from existing textile and wallpaper designs. There are also digitally created textures that I fabricated some time ago. All of these bits and pieces found their way into these new digital collages, something borrowed to make something new.

The compositions were created in Procreate app for iPad using an Apple pencil. Some textures were created in iColorama app.


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.

%d bloggers like this: