How to Paint Abstracts That Get Accepted By Judges

Getting into juried shows is a rite of passage for artists.  It says your art is now on a higher artistic level.

But getting into your first juried show can be exasperating.  

I know when I started entering juried shows I got only rejection letters.  This can be so discouraging, so here is what it take to get accepted into juried shows.

Your painting must have a strong design.  Sometimes when we paint abstracts, we think design doesn’t matter but it does. With a strong design the judge will know the area of your center of interest and this will be determined by:

  • How your shapes lead you to your center of interest
  • Hard lines at your center of interest
  • Biggest color contrast
  • Complimentary colors causing a vibration to the eye
  • Words or lines
  • Your brightest colors

Do your values and edges make the painting interesting?

  • Do you have darks in your painting (this is one of the hardest things for beginning painters)
  • Do you have hard and soft edges
  • Do your edges lead to another shape
  • Are the colors different but of the same value

Color…OMG…this is the thing that sets amateur artists apart from professional artists!

  • Does your color make a statement ( by this I mean…is it calm, exciting, somber)
  • Are there too many bright colors
  • Do you have neutrals to accent your bright colors

Have you painted this painting in your unique artistic voice?  This is one of the hardest things for artists to do….discover and develop their own personal voice.

What do you want your painting to say? In other words…your painting has a story and you are the story teller.  But I hear you say…I just paint I don’t know the story. This is when you go broader in your thinking and hear what the painting is saying to you the creator.

Another question I ask myself…How deep did I dig into myself to release this painting?

Remember you have a ton of creativity inside yourself.  The key is to access this creativity and set it free. You do this by painting lots of paintings; doing them over and over until the real painting is birthed. 

Download my cheat sheet on how to find your unique artistic voice here.

Until next time…

Create brilliantly,
– gwen

Download ‘How To Find Your Unique Artistic Voice (.pdf)

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