Drops of Color

At some point in the future I’m planning to EXPLORE — that’s my word for 2021, remember — ideas and concepts behind abstract art. I’m interested in learning more, primarily because I think it would be a good adjunct to my studies of design theory. Abstract art is not usually too representational, yet good abstract art — I believe — is rooted in strong design.

Right now I’m still playing with my alcohol inks, still having fun, and more or less still wondering what to do with what I create. I am viewing my practice pieces now, though, not as a meaningless exercise with inks, but as part of my design theory studies.

Here’s today’s ink practice, another example of a “puddle drop” technique. This time, however, instead of applying alcohol to the surface, I used a “blending solution”.

I’m calling this “Jigsaw” because that’s what the shapes reminded me of as I dropped the inks onto the page. I used only the three primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — and I was careful to leave a bit of white paper here and there. This was done, by the way, on a small square of Yupo paper. It’s definitely a good surface for alcohol inks.

In putting this “jigsaw puzzle” together, I tried to keep the basic principles of design — harmony, balance, and rhythm — in mind. Overall, I felt I succeeded in creating an abstract design that does have each of those qualities.

Overall, I was happy with this little piece, and I think using alcohol inks to further my design studies and learn abstract art will be very enjoyable. I hope you like my colorful little jigsaw puzzle. Maybe a few of the pieces in art are starting to fall into place.


  1. As someone who, like you, is self-taught, I think you’d be wise to use your design training and just play with the inks. I’m a watercolorist who didn’t take that in art school. So I learned it on my own. I’ve found that the less pressure you impose on yourself, the more room there is to just learn what the medium does. “Jigsaw” is a good start. So go explore and don’t forget to wear your pitch helmet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL… yep, I need a helmet for sure as I set off exploring. I am having fun with alcohol ink, even if I don’t see any practical purposes for what I create. It is a good opportunity to think about design theory.


  2. When I was taught abstract art in the 80s they said that you either zoomed in on an element of the item until you couldnt recognise it or you took photo, printed it and then cut and rearranged it on the photocopier until you couldnt recognise it. The term ‘abstract’ these days seems to have changed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! I’ve never come across a good definition of “abstract”. It can mean so many different things. I’m fascinated by it and would like to learn more about it. I think abstract art might be one of the most creative forms of art that exist. The idea of making something that’s “artful” while at the same time making something that’s not really anything at all… well, it probably seems like I’m rambling on. It’s one thing to have an image to go by, a reference, an idea in front of us. It’s another to just somehow put together colors and shapes and still come up with something reflectin harmony, balance, rhythm, and so many other qualities we find in art. I’m in awe of good abstract artists.


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