Floating Objects

It’s been a while since I added a new abstraction so here are three to make up for the lack of postings! All three have backgrounds with varied colors and textures. They use slightly different but related color palettes composed of contrasting complimentary colors. In each composition various shapes, some with cut-outs, float over the multi-colored backgrounds. There is some transparency in each of the designs which allows for seeing through the objects to the background below. They were all created digitally in Procreate app for iPad and then slightly altered in iColorama, another iPad app.

Red and Blue

The heading above has nothing to do with American political parties. Instead, it refers to my latest two abstract designs. These compositions have many similarities and a few major differences. The similarities include their formats (tall elongated dimensions), the basic subject matter and their overall texture. The major differences are in general color (red or blue) and the contrast of values (light to dark colors). Red is generally more analogous in color, closer color relationships with less dramatic contrast. The shapes and textures overlap more subtlety. Blue has more contrast of both values and colors. The range of light to dark is greater and the complimentary colors of Blue offset the subject matter more sharply than in Red. Several textures are overlapped digitally to create both images using varying levels of transparency. They were both created in Procreate app for iPad with an Apple Pencil. They were then brought into iColorama app to produce a slightly embossed surface texture.


Doodads and Widgets

One of the great things about abstract art is that it doesn’t necessarily have to represent anything real. With these two designs there is almost something tangible but not really recognizable. Are these ancient (or modern?) hieroglyphs? Maybe circuit boards in space? I’ve allowed my penchant for detail a free rein and let these evolve into something intricate but ultimately unknowable. What do you call something like that? Normally, I don’t title my abstracts but I felt compelled to name these “DOODADS” and “WIDGETS” to add a bit of whimsy. It seemed appropriate. They were both created on an iPad with Procreate app and an Apple pencil.

Rainbow Orbs

Making abstractions for me is an improvisational process. Basic elements of the design occur to me as I’m working and they change as the composition evolves. As I worked to create these abstract designs, circles became a dominant element. Using Procreate app for iPad, I molded several of these into apparent 3D orbs which seemed to float in a gauzy colorful space. A mixture of shapes and patterns were layered transparently to create a mesh of color and texture.

Painterly Pastels

Of the many tools available in Procreate app for iPad, the ones I like best are those that clearly mimic traditional drawing and painting media. These new abstract images reflect that preference. They were all created with several of my favorite “brushes”. The most prominent ones are “Rull” (textured roller) brushes, “soft pastel”, and “Syrup” (a kind of flexible pen tool). Other brushes were used but these are the most noticeable in the current compositions.

Procreate “brush” samples

From top to bottom: Nikko Rull, Soft Pastel and Syrup

My intention with these new digital abstractions was to create a “painterly” result as opposed to the “hard edged” designs that I sometimes do.

A more “hard-edged” previously posted design

So…here are the new designs. They have a somewhat “pastel on textured paper” appearance with added graphic line elements as well. Although all three share many of the same colors and textures, each has a unique mood or “feel”.


Those of us who grew up before the digital era learned to “tell time” from the numbers on a round clock face. Behind the face rested the inner mechanical gears and springs of the clockworks, a complicated invention that for centuries has provided a universal fascination. These fanciful abstracted versions of clockworks might be at home in the land of Oz, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or some other fantastical place. They were created in Procreate app for iPad with a wink and a nod towards Wassily Kandinsky.


About two weeks ago I posted a new digital abstraction created in Procreate app for iPad. I talked about how that design was created and then showed some of the variations produced by running the original through another app, iColorama. I decided to create a new abstraction in Procreate and try even more experiments with iColorama. Here are the results.

New Abstract Design

Color Variations

Here are some experiments involving color changes to the original design. As with the previous experiments, the composition doesn’t change but the color relationships do. Here are some of the varied color combinations that were produced in iColorama.

Here they are as a slideshow, one color combination dissolving into another.

Further transformations

Still using iColorama, I was able to simulate these watercolor effects.

Extreme transformations

Finally, I was able to create radical transformations in iColorama affecting color, shape and texture.

Petite Pastels

Today’s offering is a small seasonal gift of brightness and cheer, something we can all use during this stressful time. These three minimal digital abstracts use simple shapes and subdued but cheerful pastel colors which make for an airy and breezy feeling. They were created in Procreate app for iPad.

Best wishes for the holidays!

Putting it Together

I sometimes mention that my abstract designs are like improvisations. I start out with a simple idea and continually make changes, adding and subtracting objects, moving them around and changing colors along the way. Today I’m posting two new digital abstractions created in Procreate app for iPad. Procreate automatically creates a video of everything you do in the program giving you a record of your work. Since I’m not able to post videos on this blog, I’ve selected sample frames from those videos, as slideshows to show some of the process of creating these images. They don’t show every change but give a sense of the direction of the creative process.

Notice how objects are created, moved and/or deleted in the slideshow below. It can be viewed automatically or you can use the pause icon (upper right) to stop it and move through it manually with the buttons below.

finished image
finished image

Happy Anniversary!

This December marks the third anniversary of obtaining my iPad and Apple pencil. Just as important was the purchase of Procreate app.

My past professional life and training revolved around music, performing in Chicago area musical venues on the oboe and English Horn. (more info in “about Jeff”) Aside from my interest in music, I have always “dabbled” in various forms of graphic arts. Most of my efforts revolved around representational drawing and painting. For many years I harbored an interest in abstraction but felt reluctant to try my hand at it. Using the iPad with Procreate has allowed me to experiment very freely with shapes and colors. Being influenced by many great abstract artists such as Kandinsky, Juan Gris, Picasso and others, I have tried to absorb some of that inspiration into my own work.

Above, is a piece created with Procreate app that is clearly influenced by Kandinsky, an artist I seem to come back to frequently. This work has a very jubilant feeling and I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate my three years of abstract experimentation.

Happy Anniversary!

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