8 Abstract Art Techniques for the Beginner

Abstract Art Techniques

Did you know that sketching occasionally can help you develop your hand-eye coordination, focus, attention span, and strategic thinking? If this is the first time you are sketching, you can by using abstract art techniques that are beginner-friendly.

Using Your Non-Dominant Hand

A close up of a person

As abstract art’s goal is to create a basic visual of your subject, using your non-dominant hand to draw is a great idea. While following a reference image, draw with your right if you’re left-handed and vice versa. Doing this can help you boost your flexibility in your other hand too.

Include Collage

A close up of rain

A collage is defined as adding and combining cutouts out of photographs, paper, or some other medium on a blank canvas or a filled-in canvas. One way you can do this is to get out your magazines and cut out interesting shapes on it and put it on paper. Then, you can leave it as is or draw all over it. How you arrange these will help you practice the idea of composition in art.

Sketching Without Rules

Making abstract art can also involve putting pen to paper and drawing whatever you want and how you want it. The idea is to doodle a tangle of lines, a group of shapes, or random figures on paper. This is one of the most straightforward abstract art techniques.

Include Masking Fluid

Masking liquid is usually used in watercolour to block out portions of the canvas before painting. You can use this item for your abstract art too. Even with masking tape as a substitute, add it onto the paper before drawing, doodle on it, and remove the masking. The result is a drawing with negative spaces for an abstract effect.

Contour Drawing

This technique involves drawing a line without lifting your pen in the middle of the drawing. The idea is for you to explore how to draw and object or a living being with this limitation. Another limitation you can add is to not look at the paper while drawing the lines.

Sprinkle Your Drawing With Water

This technique involves three steps. First, sketch on a piece of paper with a non-waterproof pen. Second, get water and apply it using a brush on your sketch to your liking. Third, let it dry. This will create a watercolour-like effect and works well when you use paper with different thicknesses.

Lose Yourself in the Detail

All you need in this step is a pen and paper. After that, you draw a single simple form or a group of simple forms. Then, you fill in each form with more complicated lines and shapes. This technique is called a zentangle.

Draw Layer by Layer

This also involves a pen and paper, but with a fun twist. After choosing a subject, rotate your drawing canvas however you like. Then, it’s either you draw the entire subject again or just a part of it. This is a way for you to practice composition.


We have learned that there are many ways to make art through these eight abstract art techniques. With that in mind, there are infinite possibilities on how it will turn out. Make sure to enjoy making art and always have enough materials to make it.

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