Expressive Abstracts in Acrylic


55 expressive abstract projects to paint with tons of inspirational ideas and techniques to use.

Discover the joys of painting abstracts in acrylics with experienced artist and tutor Anita Hörskens. In this visually exciting, inspirational book, Anita teaches you about the method of abstraction, and the paints, paper and other materials you need to create stunning paintings. Chapters cover the areas of texture, collage, composition, colour, line, shape and pattern, with 55 clear and accessible projects to put your skills and ideas into practice. There are techniques to try such as impasto, using glazes, bronze gilding, linear overlays and monochrome painting. This highly practical book will build confidence in your painting and allow you to express yourself through the visual language and style of abstract painting.

Table of Contents

Foreword 7

Abstraction 8
Abstraction of Real Objects 8, Informel painting 10
Lessons and Exercises 11
Underpainting 11
Material 12
Paints 13, Pastes and gels 13, Painting supports 13, Tools 13
Texture 14
Manually Designing the Surface 15, Additives and Fillers 16, Practice 16, Techniques for Applying Colour on a Dry Texture 17, Glaze on a Coarse, Sandy Texture 19, Texture on Paper Collage 21, Tactile and Engraved Lines on Texture 23, Engraving on Texture 25, Bronze Gilding on Texture 27, Multi-layers of Texture 29

Collage 30
Practice 31, Stimuli 32, Practice 33, Chinese Paper on Paint Texture 35, Collage on Crackle Paste 37, Glaze on Different Papers 39, Chinese Paper on Layers of Colour 41, Glaze on Paper Collage 43, Twine under Chinese Paper 45

Picture Construction 46
Choice of Format 47, Rules of Composition 48, Golden Section 48, Diagonal Composition 49, Picture Entry and Exit 50, Practice 51, Instructions 51, Vertical Thirds 53, Joining Spaces through Engraving 55, Joining Spaces through Pattern 57, Joining Spaces through Drawing 59, Loose Division of Space through Outlines 61

Colour 62
Colour Wheel 63, Definition of Terms 63, Primary Colours 63, Secondary Colours 63, Tertiary Colours 63, Further Gradations of Colour 63, Practice 64, Interaction 65, Variations 65, Practice 65, Red-Orange-White Gradation 67, Blue-Green-White Textures with the Spatula 69, Subtle Complementary Contrast 71, Accented Complementary Contrast 73, Complementary Contrast in the Golden Section 75, Vibrant Complementary Contrast 77, Monochrome Painting with Cyan 79

Space 80
Definition of Terms 81, Practice 81, Variations 81, Pastose Painting Styles 81, Covering with a Brush 81, Covering with a Paint Roller, Cloth or Sponge 82, Pastose Gradation 82, Glazing 83, Wet-in-Wet Technique 84, Splatter or Spray Technique 84, Granulation Technique 85, Lifting-Off Technique 85, Impasto with a Brush and a Hard Rubber Roller 87, Pouring on Underpainting 89, Pouring on Collage and Texture 91, Pouring on Texture 93, Pouring on Opaque, Underpainting 95, Glaze and Impasto on Texture 97, Impasto with a Spatula on a Glazed Underpainting 99, Rolled Textural Application 101

Line 102
The Art of Drawing Lines 103, Practice 103, Stimuli 104, Functionality 105, Variations 105, Tactility 106, Variations 106, Sgraffito 106, Extrusion Technique 107, Linear Overlays 109, Splattered Line on Collage 111, Shining Silver Contours 113, Charcoal Drawing on Rolled Paint 115, Combining Engraving and Tactility 117, Stylized Pencil Drawing 119, Narrative Pencil Scribblings 121, Block Stripes versus Free Line 123

Form 124
Definition of Terms 125, Variations 125, Overlapping Free Forms 127, Impasto and Glaze on an Underpainting 129, Positive and Negative Stencil 131, Negative Form through Glazing 133, Free Forms in the Golden Section 135, Large and Small Forms 137, Freely-poured Forms 139, Circles in a Negative Stencil 141

Pattern 142
Stimuli 143, Practice 143, Stamps 144, Stimuli 144, Practice 144, Stencils 145, Linear Pattern on Collage 147, Circular Pattern 149, Sprayed Stencils Pattern 151, Freehand Pattern with a Spatula 153, Pattern on Texture 155, Collage of a Paper Stencil 157, Reflecting 158, Composition 158, Colour Philosophy 158, Visual Depth 158, Stimuli 158

About Anita Hörskens

Anita Hörskens lives and works as a freelance artist and runs her own painting school in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm in Bavaria. She has worked as a trainer and speaker in the field of artists’ supplies since 1994. She leads seminars in all standard painting and drawing techniques, and offers painting holidays, portfolio preparation courses and creative seminars for companies. As the author of numerous acrylic textbooks, she has also lectured at various specialist academies since 2004, with a focus on Experimental Mixed Techniques with Acrylic. In her blog, she regularly reports on News from the Studio:

Her website can be visited at