How to Create easy Abstract Modern Art

Have you wanted to hang some of your own work on the walls? It’s really not difficult to whip something up… I know what you are thinking; I’ve heard it all before, honestly! Let me give you a pep-talk and explain how to create easy abstract Modern art

feature image, hand painting and wall art collage

Why make your own art?

Do you have space on your walls and barely any budget to fill them? I understand completely. Yes, I am an artist so I actually do have a lot of traditional art; perhaps not the type that may be the trend right now.

I did however take on a large project making-over a whole house for someone special. As part of that I wanted to include some art that would be simple to do and also fit with other parts of my designs. The bonus was that I could re-use (up-cycle) frame that I already had. If tastes change in the near future the investments were not that big. Abstract artwork can be in any form. Making yout own allows you to choose your own paint colors. It will definitely be original art without the huge purchase price, even a beginner can do it.

2 pieces of modern art on wall

The soft greys in this canvas art works well with the cream sofa and modern cushions that I made. You can however adapt whatever colour palette you like. (best to keep it simple though) Check out the videos to see how the brush strokes, smears and palette knife brought this diy together.

paint blob and paint brush

What do you need to make abstract art?

When I am working on a limited budget I tend to find the frame or old art first. I can prime a board or cover existing art (if I am not making archival art) with a primer or gesso. For these pieces I am using some mid-grade acrylic paints. Since I am not trying to replicate any realistic images I could even use some leftover house paint.

brush moving paint on canvas

I find much beauty in the simplicity of a great brush stroke… You must have you seen that popular modern abstract art which looks just like a scribble?!

To move the paint around you can use almost any brush, piece of cardboard, squeegee, palette knife, whatever you fancy. Don’t be afraid of texture, or adding another layer.

abstract art on canvas

It’s time to let some of the idea of perfection go… I know. I taught in an art college for over 20 years and I was so tired of students proclaiming that they could not manage to make the art that they wanted, before they even tried. Give it a try, look at what you are doing and enjoy the process, see which parts you like and which you can ‘adjust’.

As you move the paint around, use your intuition; your gut feelings about what you see. There will be parts you doubt and others that just seem to ‘speak’ to you. That is normal, do you really think ‘real’ artists have it all figured out?! Maybe the seasoned ones are habitually in a pattern of similar work but it all takes some practice and experimentation.

If you take the pressure off to be perfect it frees you to explore more. What have you got to lose?

What techniques can you use?

paint squeegee'd to make modern art

In this piece I had no real plan. To have a little bit of design order I kept a direction to the application of paint. The ‘eye’ often like to have some type of ‘order’ or organization.

smeared art to create modern art

Making Art is not Difficult:

Art is subjective; One might love it and another may hate it. The point is to try it, develop your own style, perhaps let you emotion take part, channel your inner Pablo Picasso. I do not necessarily pencil draw anything first.

closeup of frame showing dissassembly

How to frame Modern Art:

Frame choices are quite endless too. The floater frames are quite popular right now and very simple. I also like the metallic gold frames that can be dismantled easily at the corners. It makes assembling the art super easy. Those types of frames can also easily be cut with a hacksaw and mitre box.

Since these pieces are quite textural and use acrylic paint I do not use glass. Remember, any kind of art usually looks much more impressive once framed.

modern art framed in gold frame

Take inspiration:

If you feel better having some type of direction, you can take inspiration from some abstract painting ideas. Ask yourself what is characteristic of the piece that you gravitate to. Check out some prominent abstract artists; Vasily Kandinsky or Paul Klee ‘But do put your own spin on your unique art.

Maybe it is in the oddest of places. I took inspiration from some broken glass I saw on the floor. The shards of different values and some golden ‘sparks’ between gave much interest.

closeup of paint strokes

Often the big expanse of white canvas is intimidating. Many artists start with a colour background for that reason. If any part does not get painted it does not show white so there is less pressure and adds visual interest.

basic coverage of canvas base color layer

Therapy to move and mix paint right on the canvas… loving the fluid and buttery texture that you can not ‘feel’ when you are drawing digitally!

filling in sections of colour on modern fractal art

How to paint:

It is perfectly acceptable to use a ruler as a guide for painting straight-ish lines, (or even masking tape) the large image expanse is ‘broken’ into shards of shapes. (see the video of the painting tutorial) Filling geometric shapes simply with a paint brush & paint is quite therapeutic.

adding some gold accents

As extra contrast I like to incorporate some subtle bling; a metallic gold. Notice; the final result lines are not all that perfect either…

modern art inspired by broken glass

Framed up easily:

I see much in this piece; I see my love for stone, rock and natural shapes; I see tension between varied objects and I see spider webs and broken glass.

art awaiting hanging

For minimal expense I’ve whipped up a collection to finish up a room makeover in a couple of days. What do you think? Would you hang these up or do you like my other type of art?

closeup showing difference in finishes

I am not sure why this speaks to me, perhaps it’s that the lines are quite expressive and the varied line-weights add dimension (somewhat like old comic art)

hung on wall modern art pieces

These designs are adaptive to any colour combinations. If you choose colours that are somewhat in the same range it makes the art less jarring, but that is a personal choice.

hung modern art on wall, gold frames

Hung and quite befitting of the space. Simple, yes, perfect for a casual space with modern furniture.

space with art and macrame in wall

These have some of the MCM (Mid-Century-Modern) vibes going on, with a bit of macrame to accent.

closeup of art, modern art made with squeegee

Since these frames are aluminum instead of a painted metallic they last much better. Look for the screws in the corners to allow disassembly.

neutral decor, grey and tones.

These easy abstract modern art pieces have a bit of Mid-Century-Modern influence and work well with the modern art graphic cushions. Perhaps I’ve inspired you to go grab your brush or run to Michaels for some paint.

gold framed modern art with abstract lines

What do you think? Which do you prefer? This or…

comparison; of traditional art...

… or this type of art? I’d really like to know.

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    1. I love both styles, but the stone ones really grab my attention more. I really like how you incorporate the metallic paint and the frames…it really does make them look more expensive! Great job…maybe I can give this a try!!!

  1. Barb, you are amazing! You are inspirational and uplifting with your endless flow of enthusiasm and projects. I love your abstract art images, all the white of the canvas, and the color scheme of the whole room. My abstracts get too dark- will seek to simplify.


  2. I love the metallic stone shaped art! Your ideas are very inspirational, I want to try these! Thank you for your posts.

  3. Trees by a long shot! I love the fractals, and my DNA loves green and blue, photosynthesis and water!

    Love your post!

    1. Oh, I secretly agree… Why; because it has an emotional connection to me. ‘It’s memories of good times walking with loved ones and appreciating all that nature gives us!