Abstract Watercolor Paintings

A few months ago, after receiving a nice watercolor landscape painting from family member, I was enthusiastic about attempting some watercolor paintings myself, but was quickly disappointed when this project became very challenging.  After a few failed attempts I decided to put landscape aside and focus on something I would find more fun.  Here are a few watercolor drawings done in between other paintings. Since these random ideas don’t really fit any set of drawings I will call them “abstract”.

The following two drawings are my favorite because, to me, they turned out nice without any expectations. When drawing with watercolors it takes a few drawings to get warmed up, then suddenly the third or fourth drawing turns out natural and effortless.


A close up of the watercolor drawing shows the details in brush strokes and transparency. Colors blend nicely when enough water is applied.


The original idea for the following painting came from a previous sketch (see Flower in rain sketch), but I expanded the concept slightly.


When working with watercolors it’s difficult to correct mistakes, so making adjustments based on intuition often works for me. In this case for example, the colors used don’t exactly follow correct rules of lighting.  Shadows aren’t placed where shadows should be, so instead I focus on the design and allow colors to space evenly in order to create an interesting composition.

Since watercolors allow for different levels of opacity, the light layers of colors help fill in empty areas while maintaining the concept.

Other interesting ideas:

I’m beginning to like the use of many colors in a single painting, and I’m also consciously allowing empty canvas space.  Empty areas in a composition often help the viewer follow a design, makes the design stand out, and improve the aesthetics of the overall composition. Empty space can be very important when designing layouts, imagine reading printed material with no margin space.



Abstract paintings don’t usually follow any design patterns or ideas, and for the most part they can be strange at first. While I personally don’t like too many abstract drawings I can appreciate the art form. When it comes to abstract art, I think for most people it’s either they like it or they don’t, but like any other art form, the more you see it the more you’ll know what you like.







Tribal Art and Flowers

Since my latest sketches have consisted of tribal-looking designs, and of course flowers, below are some of these ideas turned into watercolor.











After I finish watercolor painting I clean my palette and get it ready for the next session. The paper I used for this set was 11″ x 14″ after perforation. I believe this is a common size for drawing paper. I will likely frame a few of these for display.


I hope you enjoyed this set of abstract watercolor paintings; and it gave you ideas for your own designs. Watercolor can take a lot of practice to master, and definitely a lot of patience. My first attempt at landscape did not work out well because I did not have enough patience to complete a detailed project. I have a few watercolor landscape paintings which I’ll share in a future post once I’m happy with a few designs, but or now I’ll continue practicing. Good luck on your watercolor projects. ‘Till next time.