Paint like Alma Thomas abstract – How to paint abstract with acrylics

Paint like Alma Thomas abstract – How to paint abstract with acrylics


Is it possible that abstract art can be brightly colored and interesting enough … … to be used in Kindergarten classes? Yes and for you and me it is also fun … … to paint like Alma Woodsey Thomas art. Just after this. Hi there, my name is Albert van der Zwart, welcome to Imperfect Paintings … … where it is all about improving your painting skills by looking at art, yourself and the world around you. I’m not the only one who likes her art so I’ll step down for a minute. And today the old family dining room is a highlight of the public tour … … and an enduring tribute to modern artists. From the art deco tea service, to the woven rug to the stunning painting by Alma Thomas … … who by the way is the first African American woman to have her artwork freatured in this home. It’s a beautiful space and it turned out well. And as Mrs. Kennedy put it in that televised tour all those years ago … … she said “This house should always have all the history of our country in it.” And thanks to all of you, today it does. She talks about this painting … … and here you see it on the wall in the old family dining room in the White House. Alma Woodsey Thomas paintings look like this. She lived from 1891-1978. First she worked as a kindergarten teacher. When she was 30 years old she went to the University to get an art degree … … resulting in an art teaching position at a junior High school. She retired in 1960 at age 69 to start her career as an artist making these large colorful paintings. Her first exhibition was at age 75, on this picture at her exhibition in the Whitney Museum she is 77. Now it´s time for the real work. She used pencil lines to help her and I drew some lines and circles too. I really like her use of color and I´m aiming at resembling her artwork. Oeps, I forgot to press record for a few lines Although her work is abstract she is painting things she sees or thinks of. Her artwork has titles like ‘Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers’ … … ‘Starry Night and the Astronaut’ or ‘Resurrection’ one of her paintings in the White House. When I look at her artwork I see that she varies in light and dark colors. She has clearly studied this thoroughly. To me this has an effect as if the painted circles are alive like ripples caused by raindrops in a puddle. I want that effect too. When you look through your eyelashes for a few seconds … … you get a better idea of the light and dark difference and the expanding circles. I mix different colors and it is interesting to paint like Alma Thomas. But I also get the feeling that my painting is not at her level. Later on in this video I will show you the difference … … and what you can do to improve your artwork when painting like Alma Thomas. I promised to show you what I was missing. This is one of her artworks. When zooming in you can see how she painted in comparison to my painting. She painted very tight, the brushstrokes are close to each other and also very different in form. When you look here it looks like she painted the colors twice … … because this piece has two tones or she works with not completely mixed colors. Interesting details. And don’t forget the size of the paintings. Remember this picture? She clearly didn’t made these with a 5 and 10 mm brush as I did. This is my reason why I paint like famous artists. Every time I learn a lot just by making a painting in their style. Like with Kazimir Malevich and his Black Square. It looks so simple but there is more to discover and learn. Click on the link and I will see you over there in the next video.

2 Comments

  • Omar Sangiovanni says:

    Cool

  • Con Civ says:

    beautiful!!! I want to try this, it seems like a mandala or a modern roman tile work. Alma Thomas' work is really interesting, I like the colourfull result, it's very expresive. As you showed a close-up view of her artwork I realized how mastered in colour she was.

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