Adding Depth to Your Abstract Paintings

You can and should add depth to your abstract paintings using the same principles and strategies employed by more realistic painters and photographers.

Even if you’re painting Non-objective Abstracts every shape, every line, each Element can be manipulated to come forward or recede on the picture plane, and there are three basic ways to achieve this.

  1. Make the edges of the element “Fuzzy”
  2. Adjust the Scale of the element
  3. Neutralize the Color of the element


Here is an example of softening the edges, and you can see how the shape with harder more defined edges attracts more attention visually. The depth achieved in this particular example is only slight, but important none the less. Mastering the quality of your edges, will really improve your abstract paintings.



In this example you’ll notice I simply made one object smaller. Adjusting the Scale of an object or element with cause it to recede on the picture plane in relation to similar elements. It’s just one of the Laws of Perspective which you can use in your Abstract Paintings to create a sense of depth.




Neutralizing the Color of an element is also another way to send it back in the picture plane. Objects at a distance appear to have “muted” or neutralized color. Less intense colors naturally seem to be farther away, and learning to skillfully arrange your composition with this Principle in mind will really take your Abstract Paintings to new heights.



Finally you can use and should use deliberate combinations of these Principles in all of your creations. With practice you will learn to master these strategies, and where to use them in your compositions, to make the painting do as you command!

So take charge of your Abstract Paintings, and Bend them to Your Will! Make those elements get in line.


  • Ima

    Reply Reply May 19, 2018

    Dear Andy,

    This is an extremely interesting and helpful article for everyone passionate about abstract art. But unfortunately I cannot see any images. I tried opening this page in Chrome, Firefox and IE browsers. The images themselves are not being displayed, only their titles are (for example, Depthx-250×207, fuzzy-300×147, etc.)
    It would be great if it could be possible to see the images.

    Thank you for all you do,

    • andymo7_wp

      Reply Reply May 20, 2018

      Thank you for letting me know. I just now updated the images and they should display correctly when you refresh your browser.

  • Maria

    Reply Reply January 13, 2019

    So short article give me loads of information!!! Thank you.

  • Annissa

    Reply Reply February 11, 2019

    Thanks for explaining this Andy. It is super useful to see these principles applied to abstract examples. I’ll rewatch your video lessons with a keener eye now.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field