Key Elements of Abstract Art Paintings You Must Know

Understanding Abstract Painting: A Beginner's Guide
Understanding Abstract Painting: A Beginner’s Guide
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Understanding Abstract Art and Its Essence
Understanding Abstract Art and Its Essence
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Key Elements of Abstract Art Paintings You Must Know

Every art piece has its own visual vocabulary that gives it interest and structure. This vocabulary comprises six primary elements- shape, line, form, value, colour, and texture. Whether you are trying to read an abstract art painting, non-objective, or even realistic, you will find at least one, if not more, of these elements to be present.

Each of these primary six elements are paramount to the success of a painting; each element has its characteristics and helps make the art more interesting. All pieces of artwork come with their own visual vocabulary, and as we learnt above, that vocabulary contributes to giving them structure and interest. When a person looks at contemporary abstract art, you will surely witness that one or more of those elements will be palpable, thus bringing its own distinct features into play, making the piece quite interesting.

Also known as non-objective or non-representational art, abstract art is a particular art style where visible, real things from our world have no part to play. However, every art has the six elements mentioned above. Let us talk about them:

  • Shape

There are numerous ways of using and finding shapes within a composition of abstract art paintings. Oftentimes, audiences are tempted to take these shapes as a positive form. However, when it comes to abstract art on canvas, the last thing an artist has to worry about is what shape it is or looks like. The only essential thing is what qualities it offers and contributes to the art.

  • Line

The line character varies based on the picture; it can be aggressive lyrical, subtle, or even rhythmic. An art piece encompasses all or numerous types of lines and transitions from one type to another. The line’s quality and how the artist uses them in their art is one of the essential factors of this element.

  • Form

For any art, form is an important element. It signifies that an object possesses three dimensions so that the viewer can think of form as a 3-D shape. Contemporary abstract art does not represent a precise visual reality depiction; rather, they use shapes, forms, and colours to achieve its effect.

  • Value

One of the interesting facts about this art, especially when it comes to contemporary abstract art expressionism, has always been a crucial point of art criticism. However, there are a sufficient number of amazing abstract paintings that are quite remarkable. So the main question is, how does an artist make a good, admirable abstract art? Abstract painting is a thing that takes nothing more or less than any other style of painting or drawing. Thus, the key element of abstract painting is the juicy artistic technique of creating.

  • Colour

Usually, abstract wall art is based on primary colours: red, blue, and yellow, filling various shapes in one painting. When an artist fills every shape, it might make the painting look overwhelming and busy, but there is nothing wrong with that. However, due to this reason, many painters opt to incorporate only a few shapes to paint in; thus, the shapes will stand out

  • Texture

If we put it in simple words, there are two forms of texture techniques. The first one consists of random textures if an artist wants to experience the art-making process without thinking about results, and the other consists of texture in a more controlled manner. The artist will perhaps find amazing ways of making this element functional and energizing the texture elements of the art piece.

These are the top six key elements artists use while creating abstract art. Are you wondering how this form of art originated? Let us talk about it.

Origin of Abstract Art Paintings

The origin of abstract art can be dated back to the 19th century. But, by the beginning of the twentieth century, this art form had become responsible for forming a central stream of modern art. The time characterized by a big body of elaborately representational art produced for illustrating anecdotes also created the numerous painter who examined the mechanism of visual and light perception.

The Romanticism period had put forward the idea about art that denied classism emphasis on idealization and imitation and had rather stressed the role of imagination and of the unconscious as an essential factor of creativity. Gradually, many painters of this era started accepting the new freedom and the new responsibility implied in the coalescence of these attitudes.

The term abstract means separating something or withdrawing from something else. So, usually, abstract art is witnessed as something with a moral dimension. Though some theorists define it as art for the sake of art, others think it is more like music, where the artist must do it by pure, unchanging patterns of colour, form, and line.


In today’s time, modern abstract art in interior design has become quite popular. So if you have an idea of those, as mentioned above, six key elements that go into composing a piece of abstract art, it will make all the difference. When you understand the message the artist is trying to convey, you can truly appreciate the artwork.


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