Intuitive, Abstract Painting and a Magical Garden

*Guest post by Martice Smith II.

I was inspired by Painted Blossoms to create my own surprise FULL color! My process is intuitive-based and free-spirited while learning how to master layered stencils and resist techniques. I enjoy using these techniques in my art because they help me loosen up and not commit too soon while developing a painting. It was fun watching the colorful elements dance and evoke the feeling of joy!

Materials List: • Acrylic and Fluid Acrylic paints (warm + cool colors) • clear gesso • paintbrushes (round, fine liner, angle; foam brush, optional) • 12" x 12" canvas • jar of water + paper towels (baby wipes) • scraping tools • stencils • stamps

abstract painting STEP 1: Paint With Your Fingers! For the first layer: Randomly apply warm colors (reds, oranges, pinks, yellows) to your canvas. (Allow colors to blend where they meet, for a smooth transition.)

Relax your elbows while you paint. Move your forearm with ease while applying paint so that your marks will be loose and expressive.

I like to rotate the canvas every time I add another color. This helps to keep myself from being too attached. (This layer will transform as you add new layers.)

Second layer: Add cool colors (purples, blues, greens) to your canvas. Let colors run in different directions to create a dynamic look.

abstract painting STEP 2: Protect Layers Apply clear gesso. Let dry.

abstract painting STEP 3: Incorporate Stencils Paint through a floral stencil. I used Deconstructed Floral Bouquet (StencilGirl) in this painting.

(TIP: How to create a resist technique - Lay down a contrasting color on top of another color that is already dry, wipe away paint with a baby wipe. (see above photo)

Leave some parts abstract and unrefined so that you can add hand drawn elements later.

abstract painting abstract painting STEP 4: Play With Your Tools! Incorporate stamps and mark making techniques. Press on a variety of stamps to add fun marks and secondary elements to your painting. (Here, I've used my own hand-carved flower stamp.)

Use smaller stamps to create repetition throughout the painting. Clean stamps immediately after using acrylic paint on them.

Scrape into the wet paint with the handle end of a paintbrush (palette knife + skewers are great, too!)

abstract painting STEP 5: Paint in Stems Paint directly onto the canvas to create stems for the flowers.

Try scraping through wet paint with the handle end of a paintbrush to reveal the color underneath.

abstract painting STEP 6: Take Your Painting Around the Edges! Continue adding the elements that sing to you. Paint in a few more stems and leaves.

Use your pinky finger to make tiny buds.

abstract painting STEP 7: Add Writing Personal symbols are prominent in my work. I like to add them because they give a rich, visual texture, interesting lines and unique meaning.

abstract painting STEP 8: Paint in Final Details If there are parts that are more abstract than others in your painting, embellish these areas using a fine liner brush with a contrasting paint color.

abstract painting STEP 9: Finish Up I've sprinkled arrows, lines and neon colored dots throughout this painting before calling it "done."

For more flower ideas, check out Painted Blossoms! Painted Blossoms

Advice to Readers: Sometimes you have to let go of something you like to create something you LOVE. Allow your magic to unfold.

About the Artist: Martice's signature style has a bold, urban edge infused with mixed-media, fashion, graffiti + photography. (Yes, this means vibrant colors + grungy textures!) As an internationally published multi-medium artist, she loves sharing her art passion by serving as an educator for several companies and design teams.

Through tutorials on her blog, Martice helps thousands of creatives live their soulful, colorful dreams to the max, by showing how to embrace their soulful magic.

Recently published in A World of Artist Journal Pages and was juried into Incite 3: The Art of Storytelling and in online publications.

URL: Connect with Martice at, on Facebook and Instagram and join the party in her MUSEletter!

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