Abstract Versus Realism – What You Need To Know

Abstract Versus Realism

In this lesson we will take a close look at abstract versus realism art. The subject, a taxi cab, is simple but it does have a lot of details.

It would be easy to get absorbed with all the features as many artists do. That’s because our eyes automatically see and register them in our brain. There’s no way to avoid this! It’s how the body works.

The trick is to manually eliminate the details. It’s much easier to do this with pencil and paper which is what I did in the example(s).

When you look at the three taxi cab examples it’s easy to see the difference between each version.

The abstract example it’s obviously very loose and has a gestural quality. But it’s not just slapped down with no care to certain qualities that the taxi has such as scale, proportions and a few details.

The middle version has more details that were extracted from the inspiration image. The lines are drawn more carefully but still somewhat loose.

The realism version is more detailed and precise. Obviously more time was invested in creating the sketch as well.

Often times it’s acceptable to eliminate many details from a subject. The goal is to do this as much as you can while still maintaining a likeness to the subject.

Want to give it a try?

Learning requires action. And by that I mean grabbing pencil and paper and doing this exercise for yourself. The inspiration image is below, or you can of course use your own subject. The point is you need to complete the exercise to benefit from this lesson.

Inspiration Image
Inspiration Image

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