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An Abstract Take Deconstructed

For this post, I used the version of Wassily Kandinsky’s On White II abstract painting I created a while back and give it some animation. For this, I used frame based animation and manually moved around layers of the piece. When I tweened the layers the way liked, I copied and pasted them again, then reversed it. I wanted to give the animation of a look of being deconstructed and then reconstructed so the animation starts and ends with the full painting.

An Abstract Take

For my recreation of an abstract painting, I chose the 1923 painting, “On White II” by Wassily Kandinsky. I found the painting particularly interesting because it deals with color, form and geometric shape, rather than any actual subject matter. Also interesting to note, Kandinsky is one of the pioneers of the modern abstract movement, so I wanted to create a slight homage to the painting and find a little challenge using some of the Photoshop tools I don’t use all that often (Pen and Brush tools).

"On White II" (Kandinsky 1923)

For the background, I initially experimented with gradient and texture overlays, but eventually found that the Noise filter worked best for that “gritty” background. To get the darker edges, I used the Burn tool along the sides. For the shapes, I primarily used the Pen tool and to get the shapes to blend in with each other, I lowered the opacity slightly and set the blend mode into Multiply. What I had a lot of trouble getting the hang of was the Freeform Pen tool (which is why I never really use the Pen tool), so I would use the Transform tool (either Scale, Free Transform or Warp) and manipulate the images until they at least resemble the original painting. The large, basic shapes were not too difficult to recreate, but this painting has an abundance of detail when you look closely, so the smaller details (the checkerboards, half circles, creating transparency with the background) were quite time consuming. A detail I really struggled with was the brush strokes. Every time I attempted to create the swooshes in the upper left hand of the original painting, it continued to look really amateurish and distracting from the rest of the images. Watching tutorials, one of the main things I learned was that a stylus might not be a bad investment. With that said, here is my version…

My recreation of "On White II"

Overall, I am not disappointed with the way the recreation turned out and tried my best to do the painting “justice.” In the future, I would like to experiment a little more with filters and I have to believe there is more shortcuts to learn when creating shapes.