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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 August 2008
I pre-ordered this book, being new to painting abstracts, and have not been disappointed. The emphasis is on creativity, inspiration and individualism. Basic information on composition, colour, texture etc is brief and succinct, and the exercises cover all aspects of "pure abstraction". These exercises are based on Ms Van Vliet's lessons and workshops, and enough information is given about each while encouraging the painter to be creative. The exercises are beautifully illustrated, a lot by works produced by Ms Van Vliet's students. I think this inspiring book could be well used not only by beginners but by more experienced artists branching out into abstract painting.
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on 5 June 2009
I've been painting some years and completed all the local Open College Network courses but had never tried abstract painting.

I recently got interested in 'playing with colour' and using paint to express feelings and emotions, but I couldn't find a book that would lead me into it. I tried a few books on abstract painting but they seemed to be very tentative and disappointing.

This book is exactly what I was looking for. It takes the reader on a tour around the parameters of abstract painting, which helped me to understand the 'what', and it provides a structured series of 65 exercises which are guiding me as I explore the 'how'.

Some books on painting are mainly a showcase for the author's own paintings -not so here. This book is about encouraging you to explore methods for yourself, and it is well illustrated with examples of other students' work but not as something to 'copy' or imitate, just to show a pictorial example of each exercise ( and it does not waste the first twenty pages showing you pictures of paint brushes, and explaining the colour wheel.)

As another reviewer has said, this is like a full course on abstract painting led by an experienced tutor who encourages you to develop your own style of painting and to enjoy the journey of exploration.
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on 2 November 2008
a very interesting book which offers a powerfull idea of the elements and principles of designing, with very good lessons and pictures - I recommand it to artists who want to progress and teachers who want a good tool for their job ; I have read it and translated it in french for myself
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on 7 March 2009
I am not a professional artist. I have always wanted to try abstract work, but have failed in the past - poor composition, poor colours, poor balance. I was bought this book as a birthday present, and within two days I had created my first proper abstract that I was happy with.

Rather than concentrating on technical details (As many other art books do), this book goes straight into the creative aspects of abstract art - even just trying out the ideas in the exercises is creatively engaging.

A must for the artist interested in creating abstracts.
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2009
No, it's not just a matter of throwing paint at canvas! This book is a practical guide to the art of abstract painting which has to do with colour and tone, design, harmony and flow, line and shape, balance, rhythm and composition. This is not a step-by-step manual. At no point does Rolina van Vliet say "copy this". The exercises she has devised are there to act as a springboard to individual creativity and originality and she advises painters "to close this book as soon as you start your lesson exercise in order to give your own creativity and expression greater freedom." The exercises she has devised give clear information on method, materials, technique, composition, imagery and structure. Importantly, also, since the instruction offered in this book aims to develop artistic skills generally, figurative painters also stand to gain from it as "abstract painting also stimulates the experimental and expressive approach to figurative reality and leads to the creation of something wholly individual and unique."

I heartily recommend this book to all painters - it will have you itching to start painting abstracts.
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on 16 September 2009
Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques

The author provides us with an excellent series of suggested abstract art projects which will stimulate any artist's imagination. As soon as I opened this book I wanted to start painting right away! A first class book which any abstract painter will enjoy and use constantly.
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on 23 March 2009
This book has been a source of good ideas and techniques for painting abstracts. It has usfully given tips in the use of colour and enriched what I am already doing in a weekly art class. Happy to recommend it to anyone.
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on 12 March 2009
I am an art teacher and this book has helped me very much to explain my students the basics of abstract art.
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on 10 June 2010
I really like the layout of this book. The illustrations on every page are an inspiration and each `task` gives you a materials list and ideas but then you create your own masterpiece rather than doing a slavish copy
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on 18 July 2009
This is an excellent book - made me want to get out the paints and start. Have shown it to other friends and they would all like a copy as well!
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